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Entertainment: Trial of the Elysee's polls: Claude Gueant soon fixed on his fate

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L'ex-ministre de l'Intérieur Claude Guéant ainsi que quatre anciens conseillers et collaborateurs de Nicolas Sarkozy, soupçonnés de favoritisme ou de détournement de fonds publics, seront fixés sur leur sort en début d'après-midi dans l'affaire dite des sondages de l'Élysée. A 77 ans, Claude Guéant est incarcéré depuis plus d'un mois. © Bertrand Guay / AFP The former Minister of the Interior Claude Guéant as well as four former counsel and collaborators of Nicolas Sarkozy, suspected of favoritism or Diversion of public funds, will be fixed on their spell in the early afternoon in the case called the surveys of the Elysee. At 77, Claude Gueant has been incarcerated for more than a month.

Claude Gueant Will it appear in the box? The presence of the former State Clerk, 77, incarcerated at the Health Prison for more than one month because of a previous conviction, remains uncertain: it should ask to be represented by his lawyer. He is suspected of favoritism or diversion of public funds.

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Revised release

first for a former tenant in Beauvau, Claude Gueant was imprisoned on December 13th. The Paris Court of Appeal estimated in early November that it did not settle in the fine and the damage and interests it was inflicted in 2017 in the case of liquid bonuses of the Ministry of L Interior. He did a request for release which was examined on Wednesday and will be decided on February 7th.

This judicial past has telescope the trial of the surveys of the Elysee, which took place in October and November, resulting in a reopening rare of the debates, more than three weeks after the end of the hearings.

He also led the National Financial Prosecutor's Office (PNF) to increase its requisitions against Claude Gueant: Believing that he does not respect the decisions of justice ", the Prosecution requested one year imprisonment, against six months earlier, As well as 10,000 euros fine for favoritism and misappropriation of public funds by negligence.

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"Separation of powers"

for one month, the Tribunal plunged into the exercise of power under Sarkozy, examining the millions of euros of political advice and opinion studies billed by the companies of Patrick Buisson and Pierre Giacometti, as well as by the Ipsos Institute. The former head of state has never been implicated in this case because it is covered by the presidential immunity guaranteed by the Constitution.

But it has been summoned, in an unprecedented decision, to appear as a witness on November 2: at an audience as brief as tense, Nicolas Sarkozy refused to answer the questions of President Benjamin Blanchet, in the name of the "separation of powers".

For the Prosecution, the disputed expenses were the subject of favoritism because they were allocated without advertising or call for tenders. At issue: 2.7 million euros for Patrick Buisson, 2.1 million for Pierre Giacometti and 1.5 million for Ipsos.

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Patrick Buisson, 72, ancient influential inspirer of the President, is further pursued for diversion of public funds, because of two contracts that he was paid 10,000 euros per month for the Council and could also deliver surveys to his free appreciation .

Between 2007 and 2009, the PNF counted 235 opinion surveys, purchased and resold with margins from 65 to 71%, for a profit of 1.4 million euros.

"Custom" from De Gaulle

The Crown required two years of imprisonment, one year ago and 100,000 euros of fine against Patrick Buisson, as suspected of abuse of social property, as well as a fine of 550,000 euros against his companies published and publishes.

For the ex-sonar Pierre Giacometti, the Prosecution requested six months imprisonment with stay and € 70,000 of fine - with in addition 250,000 euros fine for its company no com. A penalty of 500,000 euros was claimed for Ipsos. The PNF has been more clear in its requisitions with the one who was then director of Cabinet, Emmanuelle Cute (10,000 euros fine), as with the former technical advisor "opinion" Julien Vaulpré (5,000 euros fine).

in replica, the defense has harped the "Fable" of the prosecutors, pleading the general relaxation arguing that in 2007, the Code of Public Procurement did not apply to the Élysée, according to a "custom" perpetuant for Gaulle. It is precisely under the Quinquennate Sarkozy that the first calls for tenders of the Presidency be passed under the Republic, have argued the lawyers, denouncing a willingness to apply the right "retroactive" and punish those who have "put order".

The Defense of Patrick Buisson also refuted any diversion of public money, ensuring that the "margins" applied actually corresponded to a "secret" part of his mission for the head of state.

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