Bettencourt: the trail of illegal financing of Sarkozy's campaign in 2007

Eric Woerth, May 7 in Paris, after the defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy to the presidency.

The investigators involved in the case Bettencourt identify Nicolas Sarkozy. The name of the former president now appears in the procedure, educated in Bordeaux by Judge Jean-Michel Gentil, for the offenses of "abuse of weakness" and "breach of trust" committed against the billionaire. According to the minutes of which Le Monde read, the judge appears to assume that Mr. Sarkozy has received during his 2007 presidential campaign, of cash torque Bettencourt. And through Patrice de Maistre, former manager of Bettencourt fortune, and Eric Woerth, former treasurer of the UMP. The two men were indicted - the first is still in custody.

Gentile judge was first harnessed to draw cash. January 17, 2007, EUR 50 000 are removed from one account by Claire Thibout Bettencourt accountant, at the behest of Mr de Maistre. It initially demanded 150,000 euros, but the book refuses to leave such an amount as it exceeds its authority Release cash in the bank. The magistrate has provided the account statement that gives credit to the assertions of Ms. Thibout. Questioned 14 September 2011 by the Gentile judge, it reiterated that the request of Mr. de Maistre was clear: it was, in the words that would have required the asset manager, "to give Eric Woerth."


The next day, January 18, an appointment is made with Mrs Bettencourt to give him the money. Ms. Thibout in his diary, notes: "To give envelope give Patrice." Agendas Mrs Bettencourt and M. de Maistre confirm holding this appointment. The manila envelope containing bundles of twenty tickets so changing hands to land in those of M. de Maistre. The next day, January 19, this meeting Mr. Woerth, he has known since 2006, and he is ready to commit his wife, Florence Woerth. The head-to-head takes place in a cafe near the campaign headquarters, rue d'Enghien, Paris. Question of the judge M.Woerth, during his interrogation on February 9: "You remember the subway station?". "No, said the former Minister of Labour, I do not remember." Treacherous Note the magistrate: "You do not remember the subway station you borrowed every morning ..."

Curiously, this appointment is not on the agenda of Mr Woerth, unlike that of M. de Maistre, who said the interview took place from 8 am 30-9 pm 30. More annoying to Mr. Woerth, the agenda Ms. Thibout this marking on the date of 19 January 2007: "Patrick and Treasurer Street Fishmongers (...) security." "During this visit, so asked the magistrate, M. de Maistre you he handed a sum of 50 000 euros in cash?" "No, Mr. Woerth protests, he never gave me money (...). We talked about the campaign begins ... "If the judge assumes that the envelope has this day been delivered to Mr. Woerth, missing 100 000 Ms Thibout assured that M. de Maistre s' had managed to find them. However, on 28 January 2007, Mr. de Maistre went to Geneva, where he has an appointment on January 30 with René Merkt, who manages accounts undeclared torque Bettencourt lawyer. Asked Mr. Merkt confirmed the meeting and said that Mr de Maistre claimed funds through a compensation mechanism, insisting that they be hand-delivered to Ms. Bettencourt.

100 000 were they released that day? Still, on February 5, 2007, a courier arrived at Mrs. Bettencourt, in the presence of M. de Maistre, between 17 h 15 and 17 h 45. Investigators determined that the funds were always delivered well. Two days later, on 7 February 2007, Mr. de Maistre and Mr Woerth are again in the morning, still in this quiet coffee. Immediately after the meeting, the treasurer of the UMP file to HQ, where there is a meeting with the finance team.

"He wanted to discuss the important role of SMEs in the French economy," defends the former minister on record to justify the appointment with Mr de Maistre. The explanation does not convince the magistrate noted in particular that the agenda M.Woerth mentions that day two important meetings supposed to be held at the same times, but at campaign headquarters. Why, suddenly, not having organized the meeting at the office? For Mr. Woerth, coffee, "it is more user friendly." He refutes the thesis of the magistrate, convinced that € 100 000 was given to him that day. "Patrice de Maistre has never given me cash," says the former minister to the judge.


Anyway, the next day, February 8, 2007, the Merkt study in Geneva receives a transfer of 560,000 euros on behalf of Mrs Bettencourt, the amount appearing to come from a compensation system. The judge seems to believe that some of the money and quietly unlocked reached Mr. Woerth, in order to finance - illegally - the campaign of Mr. Sarkozy.

Via a report dated February 27, the judge Gentil decided to pay the proceeding for "abuse of weakness" several testimonies from former members of the household Bettencourt. He explained his thinking: "Let's make the connection with several witness statements describing a visit of Nicolas Sarkozy at the home of Liliane Bettencourt during the 2007 presidential campaign." For the judge, it is to prove that the money out in cash in Switzerland, served ultimately to finance the campaign of Mr. Sarkozy. So it accumulates indices. As this sentence from a book held by the writer François-Marie Banier. As of April 26, 2007, it states that his confidante wealthy complains financial requirements Nicolas Sarkozy. Yet this same April 26, 2007, € 400 000 disbursed in Switzerland, have been made to Mr and Mrs Bettencourt.

Why the arrival of species, while the couple "had no needs to fund its daily since all it was purchased," as explained by Ms. Thibout the judge? The involvement of Mr Sarkozy, witness statements provide the magistrate elements necessary if not sufficient. Secretaries and drivers, they are formal: Mr. Sarkozy has visited Ms. Bettencourt during the election campaign. But these meetings there, the Dictaphone butler Pascal Bonnefoy, whose bootlegs triggered the whole thing, has not recorded ...

See also: "Former employees of Bettencourt, they remember discrete visits candidate Sarkozy"

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