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Case of the leaks at 36, Quai des Orfèvres: 19 people tried from Monday

This abounding file with drawers, which brings together on the bench of the defendants heterogeneous personalities, great cops, peacekeeper, politician, notary or restaurateurs, must be examined by the Paris criminal court until October 5.

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Case of the leaks at 36, Quai des Orfèvres: 19 people tried from Monday

This abounding file with drawers, which brings together on the bench of the defendants heterogeneous personalities, great cops, peacekeeper, politician, notary or restaurateurs, must be examined by the Paris criminal court until October 5.

The case originated in a first part aimed in particular at Christophe Rocancourt, known for having scammed wealthy Americans in the 1990s in Hollywood and New York.

Far from show business and million dollar scams, he is notably suspected of having tried in the spring of 2014 with his former lawyer Marcel Ceccaldi to regularize, in return for payment, two Moroccan women without papers.

And this, by seeking the intervention of the former head of the GIGN Christian Prouteau and the former Secretary of State Kofi Yamgnane.

It is this file, also involving the companion of Christophe Rocancourt and a notary, which led to the explosion of a second case, involving the one who was then at the head of the prestigious 36 Quai des Orfèvres.

Bernard Petit is suspected, like his chief of staff at the time Richard Atlan, of having violated the secrecy of the investigation by informing Christian Prouteau, via an intermediary, even before his police custody in October 2014.

The indictment, a first, and the immediate dismissal by the Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve on February 6, 2015 of Bernard Petit, a policeman with an image of righteousness appointed 14 months earlier, had had a resounding echo.

He had already succeeded Christian Flaesch, dismissed for having warned a close friend of ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, Brice Hortefeux, of a summons to be heard as a witness.

In 2014, the Parisian judicial police had also been marked by two scandals: a complaint for rape targeting two police officers in the premises of 36 and the theft in seals of 52kg of cocaine.

- Suspicions of influence peddling -

The affair brought down another policeman, the influential Joaquin Masanet, a former retired trade unionist suspected of having helped pass on these good tips to Christian Prouteau.

In turn, the investigations have shed light on suspicions of massive embezzlement within the association he chaired, Anas, in charge of the social works of the police.

A series of abuses are reproached to him: paid interventions in files of residence permits, driving licenses or fines, some 60,000 euros of fictitious food costs but also the overbilling of work up to 470,000 euros.

His son, two restaurateurs, three Anas staff members, an entrepreneur and two other police officers are being prosecuted to varying degrees.

Long educated, this case struggled to reach the trial. The first strand of influence peddling, disjointed, was initially to be tried separately but, after two false starts in 2020 and 2021, the three strands were brought together.

Bernard Petit, 66, is sent back to court for revealing information on an instruction to a person likely to be involved and violation of the secrecy of the instruction.

He will be present at the bar on Monday, said his lawyer Me Arthur Dethomas who did not wish to speak before the hearing. During the investigation, Mr. Petit "formally" denied having transmitted any information.

At 55, Christophe Rocancourt is on trial for influence peddling and fraud in particular.

Emphasizing the age of the facts, his lawyer Me Jérôme Boursican declared that his client "works in a prestigious production house and will gladly explain himself on very marginal facts in this procedure which, for the most part, does not concern him" .

Also prosecuted for influence peddling, Christian Prouteau, 78, and former Secretary of State for Integration (1991-1993) Kofi Yamgnane, 76, defended themselves during the investigation of having been paid to operate their networks.

Joaquin Masanet, 69, will appear for complicity in obstructing an investigation, influence peddling and aggravated breach of trust in particular. He denied having played a role in the transmission of confidential information and having used the means of Anas for personal ends.

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