The Paris public prosecutor's office has asked the national financial prosecutor's office (PNF) to open an investigation after the filing of a complaint on suspicion of embezzlement concerning the Roland-Garros ticket office and targeting the French Tennis Federation (FFT), concordant sources indicated on Monday.
Executives and former leaders of the FFT had filed a complaint on March 16, accusing the current president of the federation Gilles Moretton and two of his relatives, the treasurer Jean-Luc Barrière and his former chief of staff Hugues Cavallin, of having "organized the diversion of tickets from the Roland-Garros tournament to the detriment of the FFT". But the PNF had announced in mid-June to file this complaint "for lack of infringement". He believed that the ticket transfers, questioned by the plaintiffs and Anticor in a report in March, had "occurred before the modification" of the regulations.
In addition, the tickets granted to the leagues "have given rise to consistent financial compensation for the benefit of the leagues concerned, without any misappropriation or personal profit on the part of the leaders", had argued the PNF. The suspicions of corruption denounced had also been dismissed. But on June 30, the plaintiffs' lawyer, Me Jean-Pierre Versini-Campinchi challenged this decision with the general prosecutor's office as allowed by the code of criminal procedure, he told AFP, confirming information from Le Monde and Mediapart.
In his request, Me Versini-Campinchi listed on ten pages the points on which the PNF had, in his opinion, carried out a bad analysis, he explained. “The general prosecutor's office agreed with us by giving instructions to the PNF to open a preliminary investigation. It is very rare, ”rejoiced Me Versini-Campinchi. "The general prosecutor's office granted the appeal against the decision to classify without further action, and (requested) the opening of a preliminary investigation," confirmed a source familiar with the matter. “This decision will lead the PNF to examine the new elements which have been communicated by the complainant”, specified the PNF. But "it is still too early at this stage to say that a preliminary investigation will be opened after analysis", he qualified.
For Mr. Moretton's lawyer, Me Alain Jakubowicz, “the analysis of the PNF” at the time of the classification “was objective and corresponded perfectly to the reality of the file. We can turn it in all directions, no judicial authority will be able to say anything else: this file is completely empty”.