He put his notes on the desk, adjusted his round glasses and calmly began to answer the questions of the president of the 11e correctional chamber of the Paris court, Benjamin Blanchet, on his role as regional director of the judicial police (PJ). But suddenly, the voice of Bernard Petit chokes, rises in the treble: " It's very hard. It's the opposite of my life, it's terrible. » The former boss of the Parisian PJ turns to Philippe Lemaître, the official whose statements before the investigating magistrates in 2014 earned him to be on the benches of the defendants. “How can we do this? »
For three days, the court has been examining one of the aspects of this sprawling affair, which concerns the transmission to the former prefect Christian Prouteau, founder of the GIGN – the intervention group of the national gendarmerie – of information on an investigation into it.
And for three days, Philippe Lemaître has been at the heart of the debates. This civil servant from the Ministry of the Interior worked in several ministerial cabinets under Jacques Chirac, then Nicolas Sarkozy, before landing at the National Association for Social Action of National Police Personnel (ANAS), a sort of committee business of the police and the preserve of the influential former police unionist Joaquin Masanet.
Philippe Lemaître is also one of the privileged interlocutors of Mr. Prouteau – who helped him to acquire a Rolex at a bargain price – within the police. When the former prefect learns, in October 2014, that he is about to be summoned by the financial research and investigation brigade (BRIF) to explain his links with a notorious crook, Christophe Rocancourtwhom he would have made use of his contacts to obtain the regularization of two Moroccan sisters threatened with expulsion, it is to Philippe Lemaître that he turns for information.
This one will explain to the examining magistrates Roger Le Loire and Charlotte Bilger that he is only an executant, and that it is at the express request of his boss, Joaquin Masanet, that he surrendered, on October 3, 2014, at 36, quai des Orfèvres, historic headquarters of the Parisian PJ, to request – and obtain according to his version – information from Bernard Petit and his chief of staff, Richard Atlan.
A version that Philippe Lemaître himself largely nuanced during the five hours of his interrogation on Tuesday: in the end, Bernard Petit would not have given him any information, contenting himself with explaining to him that Christian Prouteau had indeed to defer to his summons to the premises of the BRIF. "The trip is then of little interest", quipped President Blanchet.
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