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Elysee survey : the prosecutor wants a lawsuit for relatives of Sarkozy
Claude Guéant - Sarkozy

The national financial prosecutor wants a trial for “favoritism” to be held for Claude Gueant as well as for other former collaborators of former President Nicolas Sarkozy in the case of the polls of the Elysee.

The case of the polls of the Elysee eventually catch up with the Sarkozy clan. According to several media, including AFP, the National Finance Prosecutor (PNF) is demanding a trial for “favoritism” against Claude Gueant, Patrick Buisson and former relatives of former President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The PNF asks the examining magistrates to order the correctional dismissal of the former secretary general of the Élysée Claude Guéant for “embezzlement of public funds by negligence” and “favoritism”, to the benefit of Patrick Buisson, former advisor the President, referred to him for “concealment” of these offenses. He is accused of having re-invoiced polls at the Elysee Palace at “exorbitant prices” via his companies, according to the requisitions of November 6 that AFP has been aware of.

Elysee survey : the prosecutor wants a lawsuit for relatives of Sarkozy
Claude Guéant

More than a year after the end of the investigation, the public prosecutor claims a trial for six protagonists in total, including three other ex-employees of the Elysee, including former cabinet director Emmanuelle Mignon, and political scientist Pierre Giacometti.

The investigation, launched in 2013 after a bitter procedural battle, was triggered by a complaint by Anticor anticorruption, after a damning report from the Court of Auditors in 2009. By the voice of his lawyer Jerome Karsenti, Anticor s’ is said “satisfied” with this indictment while regretting “a late judicial response”.

Margins from 65% to 70%

The survey focused firstly on orders placed by the Elysee with polling institutes like Ipsos, “in ignorance” of the rules of public procurement. On the other hand, she was interested in the contracts tied, again, without tenders, with the companies of Patrick Buisson (Publifact then Publi-Opinion) and Pierre Giacometti. The prosecution requests the dismissal of these companies and Ipsos for “concealment of favoritism”.

Inspiring influence of the president, from the far right, Patrick Buisson signed an agreement with the Elysee in 2007 entrusting him with a remunerated consulting mission 10,000 euros per month and granting Publifact “the execution of polls”, to his freedom of appreciation. The survey identified 235 surveys bought by Patrick Buisson’s firm and resold to the presidency between 2007 and 2009 with margins of 65% to 70%, for a profit of some 1.4 million euros.

Several indicted had tried unsuccessfully to invoke a “tradition” in the Presidency that would have evaded the rules of public order.