Prison requested against Olivier Dussopt after three days of trial, and a judgment expected in mid-January 2024

by time news

2023-11-30 08:48:01
The Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt (right), and his lawyer, Georges Holleaux, at the Paris criminal court, November 27, 2023. THOMAS SAMSON/AFP

Olivier Dussopt will know, on January 17, 2024, whether he should resign from the government. That day, the Minister of Labor will learn of the judgment of the 32nd chamber of the Paris criminal court, as part of his trial for “favoritism”. A hearing during which Mr. Dussopt had to explain facts relating to a call for tenders launched in October 2009, when he was mayor (Socialist Party) of his hometown of Annonay (Ardèche), to award a drinking water operation contract (for 5.6 million euros) to the Urban and Rural Development Company (SAUR).

On the third and last day of his trial, Wednesday November 29, the minister remained unmoved when one of the two representatives of the public prosecutor, Julien Augereau, requested ten months of suspended prison time and 15,000 euros in fines against him. fine. While noting the “seriousness of the breaches” and the “overwhelming elements” in this “case of fraud, materialized cheating”Mr. Augereau accused Mr. Dussopt of having “co-constructed” “in hope” to obtain a “political gain” –, with the boss of SAUR at the time, Olivier Brousse, “the rules of handover” of this public water market, “in defiance of the principle of equality between candidates”.

At the end of more than two years of preliminary investigation, the representatives of the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) also requested eight months of suspended prison time against Mr. Brousse and a fine of 15,000 euros for “complicity in favoritism”. They also requested a fine of 1 million euros and a suspended exclusion from public contracts, for three years, against SAUR, historic delegatee of the town of Annonay from 1961 to 2009, for “concealment of favoritism “.

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Also read the story: Article reserved for our subscribers At his trial, Olivier Dussopt contests any “irregularity” linked to a 2009 public contract

The PNF is based on a report written by Mr. Dussopt, at the end of a meeting with Mr. Brousse, on July 29, 2009, and found during a search, in 2020, by investigators at the Ardèche home of the former councilor . A document that the minister “neither kept in his pocket nor concealed” car “he is incapable of dissembling, it is metabolically impossible”according to his lawyer, Georges Holleaux. “We are going to be made to believe that it was the mayor who fiddled and transcribed things that should not have been said in this report”he quipped.

“He gave up doing his stupid thing”

On the basis of this document and an email sent by Mr. Dussopt, in August 2009, to his colleagues at Annonay town hall, the PNF concluded that the minister had “obtained or attempted to obtain privileged information” to Mr. Brousse in connection with water markets ” future “, while the municipality had decided to switch from a public service delegation to a management company.

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