The Paris prosecutor’s office has entrusted a judge with judicial information in Toulouse, in particular for “illegal taking of interests”. This file concerns the attempt to destabilize MP Corinne Vignon during the legislative elections of June 2017. Laurence Arribagé, her opponent, is summoned in mid-December.
In June 2017, the between-rounds of the legislative elections between Laurence Arribagé and Corinne Vignon was agitated by suspicions of tax fraud which the public prosecutor was seized of. Was this report of a deputy director of public finances logical or motivated to destabilize the candidate of La République en Marche? Four years later, and seven months before the legislative news, the Parisian examining magistrate Vincent Lemonier wants to clarify this question. And without hanging around.
This magistrate heard in his cabinet Pierre-Yves Couilleau, current general near the Court of Appeal of Bordeaux and prosecutor of Toulouse in 2017. At the time, he had signed a press release announcing the opening of the investigation for the suspicions of tax fraud of Corinne Vignon, elected Member of Parliament. These surveys were referred as of September 7, 2017 after a few verifications which considered that the sums received in the context of the creation of astral charts remained insignificant. Contacted, Pierre-Yves Couilleau refused to comment on his hearing with the examining magistrate.
In June 2017 the affair did not influence the choice of the ballot box since Corinne Vignon, La République en Marche, leading in the first round, joined the Palais Bourbon. And ten days after the end of the investigation into suspicion of fraud, the prosecution entrusted new investigations to the financial division of the judicial police. To determine the real motivation, and the exchanges, which existed in June 2017 between Marc Menvielle, deputy director of public finances, Laurence Arribagé outgoing deputy, Patrice Michel then vice-prosecutor at the Toulouse public prosecutor’s office and a business manager allergic to the candidacy of the deputy En Marche. This investigation was carried out at the end of January the opening of a judicial investigation, relocated to Paris, and opened in particular for “illegal taking of interests”, “violation of professional secrecy”, “active and passive corruption”
The use of Article 40, used to report the offense, constitutes an obligation for “any constituted authority, any public officer or civil servant ” when he has knowledge of a crime or an offense. He must then warn the prosecutor “without delay”. Can we blame this use at Marc Menvielle and his interlocutor, in this case the deputy prosecutor Patrice Michel? This is part of the debate. Not the only one. The investigating judge also wants to clarify a possible violation of professional secrecy which would have materialized by exchanges of messages between the four protagonists. No more a possible return of services rendered which motivates the possible corruption.
The four implicated are surprised at the suspicions but they avoid, like their lawyers, comments. They are summoned to the judge in December. To be indicted? Likely. Seven months from the future legislative, where Laurence Arribagé and Corinne Vignon will logically face each other again, the timing is cringe some teeth. For her part, MP Corinne Vignon has already joined as a civil party. She too is waiting to be heard alongside her lawyer Me Laurent de Caunes, who shows in passing, after having defended the mayor Les Républicains de Montauban, that the exercise of law has no political family.
A new open instruction
The Toulouse prosecutor Samuel Simon-Vuelta confirms the opening of a judicial investigation in another case of suspicion of illegal taking of interests. Marc Menvielle and his wife, public finance officers, are suspected of having mixed up friendly and professional relations with one of the managers of the restaurant La compagnie française. They would have alerted him to an upcoming tax raid. An offense contested by the respondents, such as that which concerned a former chartered accountant, Guy Lahournere, who would have benefited from a tax arrangement.
Presented twice at the correctional hearing in March and early October, this case was returned each time to the prosecution at the reasoned request of the defense. My Laurent Boguet and Thierry Carrère indeed believe that this “complex” file and an investigation by the judicial police oriented and incomplete ”deserves an instruction.