Suspicion of illegal interest collection: end of investigations against Ministers Lecornu and Dussopt

Suspicion of illegal interest collection: end of investigations against Ministers Lecornu and Dussopt

The two separate investigations into ministers Olivier Dussopt and Sébastien Lecornu, in particular for unlawful interests, have been completed and their lawyers can present their arguments before the decision on whether to conduct the proceedings, we learned on Friday from the Financier Public Prosecutor’s Office (PNF ) requested by AFP.

At the end of the two investigations, the public prosecutor, as permitted by law, offered the parties to consult the files concerning them “so that they could formulate their observations and, if necessary, request that investigative acts be carried out. supplementary”, the PNF stated.

The public prosecutor’s office then decides how to proceed with the proceedings: discontinuation or initiation of the proceedings, judicial information or court proceedings. In this case, the PNF can offer the accused a plea of ​​guilty (CRPC), a kind of French admission.

Since March 2019, Sébastien Lecornu, Minister of the Armed Forces, has been the target of a preliminary investigation into “illegal interest” and “failure to report to the High Authority for the Transparency of Public Life” (HATVP).

The suspicion relates to his work as head of the Eure department and at the same time as an administrator at the Société des autoroutes Paris Normandie (SAPN). As president of the departmental council, he “authorized” “several deliberations” related to the SAPN, at least four according to Le Canard enchaîné, five according to Libération.

In his statement to the HATVP, Mr. Lecornu claims to have received a total of EUR 7,874 gross in “attendance fees” as an administrator of the SAPN between July 2016 and June 2017.

Sébastien Lecornu, who was Minister during Emmanuel Macron’s first five-year term, denies any illegal assumption of interests.

Labor Minister Olivier Dussopt during a trip to Tarbes in the Hautes-Pyrénées, September 9, 2022 (AFP/Archives – Valentine CHAPUIS)

With regard to Labor Minister Olivier Dussopt, the PNF has launched an investigation into “corruption” and “illegal interest” in connection with two lithographs by the painter Gérard Garouste, which he received as a gift in January 2017 as deputy mayor.

It was a local manager from Saur, a French water treatment group, who offered it to him. Six months later, on June 1, 2017, Saur and the city of Annonay (Ardèche), led by Mr. Dussopt, had signed a contract that has been under negotiation since 2016.

Mr Dussopt, who was also in government during Emmanuel Macron’s first five-year term, claimed to have returned the two lithographs while believing there was “nothing wrong”.


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