Political blackmail: the mayor of Saint-Étienne has spoken to Lyon
The mayor of Saint-Etienne Gaël Perdriau was heard in Lyon on Tuesday with four members of his team in police custody as part of a judicial inquiry launched following allegations of political sextape blackmail against the elected LR and his guard.
His police custody, confirmed by the Lyon prosecutor’s office, was lifted around 2pm, his lawyer Me Christophe Ingrain told AFP, indicating his client had not been charged or subjected to judicial review.
The investigations centered on the shooting and use of a sex tape recorded in 2014 showing Gilles Artigues, a former first municipal MP and former MP with a reputation for his Catholic commitment, being massaged by a man in a Paris hotel.
Mr Perdriau had been excused by a press office in Saint Etienne on Tuesday morning, announcing that he had been called “at his request” and “so that the truth will come out”, as his first deputy explained to journalist Jean-Pierre Berger.
The mayor had also announced that he approached these hearings “with aplomb,” but his political family was very quick to announce that they had initiated “a process of elimination” awaiting confirmation from LR’s political office while before Site several elected officials called for this to stand out.
The hearings, which aim to collect “the first testimonies of the main actors” in the case, were conducted “in the framework of the police detention ordered by the investigating magistrates,” Lyon prosecutors said in a press release.
At the beginning of September, following a complaint by Gilles Artigues, he launched a criminal investigation into “invasion of privacy, aggravated extortion, misappropriation of public property by a public official, breach of trust and concealment of these offences” against the mayor, one of his deputies and his former mayor Companion.
News site Mediapart, which exposed the affair in late August by publishing detailed confessions by Gilles Rossary-Lenglet on a “moral patch” in Saint-Etienne, on Monday released new scathing footage of the elected official, who is 50 years old and aged his chief of staff Pierre Gauttieri.
The aim was to politically neutralize a centrist first deputy whose opposition candidacy for the 2008 local elections had cost the town hall to the right. Allegations “despicable”, according to Mr Perdriau.
In addition to the mayor of Saint-Etienne, his chief of staff, his deputy Samy Kéfi-Jérôme, the latter’s former companion Gilles Rossary-Lenglet and his deputy chief of staff Claire Vocanson were heard on Tuesday, according to prosecutors.
– “Unworthy Methods” –
“The investigation, which consists in particular of the exploitation of the various media and documents seized during the searches, will continue under the supervision of the investigating magistrates, who will, in due course, assess the follow-up to be drawn from this investigation,” continues the text.
Part of the case concerns the remuneration of the ‘barbouzage’, which Gilles Rossary-Lenglet says is billed over fictitious services billed to two clubs specifically subsidized by the city.
Following Médiapart’s new revelations on Monday, the four LR deputies from the Loire and 12 elected officials from the left-wing municipal opposition called on the metropolis’ mayor and president to resign, while his majority distanced itself from him.
“If it is now up to the judiciary (…) to decide the guilt and degree of involvement of Mr. Perdriau, the Republicans can only condemn the despicable methods used by the mayor of Saint-Etienne in the ‘Against a political’ has rivals,” Republicans said in a statement.
On Twitter, Chief of Senators LR Bruno Retailleau denounced “intolerable mafia actions”, while LR Presidential candidate Eric Ciotti – heavily criticized by Mr Perdriau for his tough line – castigated a “lesson-giver” who “has the horrifying face of the worst reproach “.
After two terms as municipal councilor between 1995 and 2014 – in the centre-right majority, then in opposition following the victory of the left – Gaël Perdriau was elected mayor of Saint Etienne and president of the metropolis in 2014, then re-elected in 2020.
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