François Bayrou will have to explain himself to the courts
The MoDem and its leaders will have to explain themselves to the courts for “embezzlement of public funds”. The two investigating judges in charge of the investigation into the case of the parliamentary assistants of the centrist party largely followed the requisitions of the prosecution, ordering, Thursday, March 9, the referral to a criminal court of eleven of its executives, including its founder and manager, François Bayrou. The pillar of the majority of Emmanuel Macron and current High Commissioner for Planning will be tried for “complicity by instigation in the embezzlement of public funds”.
Ten other MoDem executives are also dismissed, including former Minister of Justice Michel Mercier or former MEP Jean-Luc Bennahmias, as well as the party and its predecessor, the UDF, as legal persons. The two judges, however, did not follow the prosecution concerning the former Minister of the Armies, Sylvie Goulard, who benefits from a dismissal, as well as the former MEP Nathalie Griesbeck and the deputy for Paris Maud Gatel .
The case dates back to 2014, when the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) uncovered a system set up by the National Front (FN, now National Rally, RN) in the European Parliament. Marine Le Pen’s training is suspected of using the credits granted by the European Parliament – around 24,000 euros per month – to pay assistants who actually work not for their MEP, but for the party.
One of the 17 frontist MEPs implicated, Sophie Montel, denounced in March 2017 to OLAF and French justice the similar practices which, according to her, are taking place within the MoDem of François Bayrou. A preliminary investigation was then opened, which revealed, according to the summary report of the Central Office for the Fight against Corruption and Financial and Tax Offenses (OCLCIFF) an old system (…) aiming to use the funds of the European Parliament, in order to allow the maintenance of the activity of the party and the level of remuneration of employees of the UDF-MoDem “.
Bayrou evokes a “political battle”
The investigation will establish that at least nine employees of the Modem were paid thanks to European credits. The testimony of Matthieu Lamarre, a former employee who will tell of having carried out tasks assigned to the party alone, while being paid on credits from assistants to MEPs, will prove to be decisive. Barely appointed in the first government of Edouard Philippe, in June 2017, the president of the MoDem and two other ministers of the government of Edouard Philippe, Sylvie Goulard and Marielle de Sarnez, are forced to resign.
You have 35.07% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.