ELSA FREYSSENET, Les Echos
More it is challenged and more the Nanterre Prosecutor seems to take the bit in the teeth. Implicated by the left for its proximity with Nicolas Sarkozy and now competed by the President of the tribunal, Isabelle Prevost-Desprez, which will conduct its own investigation, Philippe Courroye made take a new step Thursday preliminary investigation that it initiated in the case of Bettencourt.
Four relatives of the heir of l ' Oréal have been placed in custody: the Manager of his fortune, Patrice de Maistre, his former lawyer, M Fabrice Goguel, but also the photographer François-Marie Banier (photo) and the Manager of the island of Arros (Seychelles), Carlos Vejarano. Custody, which was extended for 24 hours Friday morning, was made in the investigation on the content of the eavesdropping between Liliane Bettencourt and his entourage. These Pirate recordings revealed the existence of two Switzerland with a value of EUR 78 million accounts and suggest a tax fraud money laundering via the island of Arros, not declared to the tax authorities.
"This is an important course since for months and months, we denounce the predators around Liliane Bettencourt", commented Thursday Olivier Metzner, lawyer for Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers, the daughter of the billionaire. The latter accuses the photographer François-Marie Banier have abused the weakness of his mother for almost 1 billion euros of gifts and challenges of more and more the role of Patrice de Maistre, who, over the revelations, appears as a major player in the case. It is in its favour that Liliane Bettencourt had signed a "future protection mandate" him as Manager of its assets in the case where her daughter would get his release under supervision. It is also to him was first proposed to conduct an audit of the companies managing his fortune and Patrice de Maistre leads. As this audit was not in this case be considered as "independent", counsel for the billionaire, Georges Kiejman, suggested Thursday that he might had added the services of a "large auditing firm". In this case the multiple ramifications (family, judicial, political), each party is engaged in a part of billiards in several bands.
While the left seeks in vain for weeks change of scenery (change of court) of the case and the appointment of an "independent" investigating judge, the former elected green Eva Joly became anti-corruption magistrate has launched a new charge against Philippe Courroye accusing him, in an interview with the "world" to be a "Prosecutor orders" and to conduct preliminary investigations to "do not go to the bottom of things". An investigating judge is not required in respect of tax secrecy and could examine the Liliane Bettencourt Switzerland accounts, that is not an attorney, she adds.
Moreover, in minutes of hearings revealed yesterday by "The world" and Mediapart, two former employees of the Bettencourt accredit the words of the ex-comptable on the generosity of their former employers for policies. Thus, according to the former Secretary, Chantal Trovel, politicians came to receive "cash", including "during the periods preceding elections at all levels". It recognizes, however, that it was not directly witness of the remittances of money.