Bernard Laporte placed in police custody for several hours for money laundering of aggravated tax fraud

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The president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR), Bernard Laporte, withdrawn for three weeks, was placed in police custody for nine hours on Tuesday, January 24, for laundering aggravated tax fraud. He came out at 6 p.m. without prosecution at this stage, the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) announced in the evening. “No charge has been made at this stage, announces to World Jean-Pierre Versini-Campinchi, one of Mr. Laporte’s lawyers. This case concerns a donation made in 2010, that is to say twelve years ago, by Mr. Laporte to a friend, an ex-rugby player who was his partner. In this case, Mr. Laporte did not receive a penny. This former partner, who would not have declared this donation to the tax authorities, is the former French international Jean-Pierre Rives, as noted by Midi Olympique. Another former player of the XV of France and ex-partner, Denis Charvet, is also targeted by the investigation. MM. Rives and Charvet were also heard in police custody on Tuesday before being released without charge at this stage. According to the newspaper L’Equipe, which revealed the information, two other people were also taken into custody. The investigations, launched in August 2020, were entrusted to the financial judicial investigation service (SEJF). Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers The French Rugby Federation towards uncertain days “We want the skin of Mr. Laporte” This is a different case from that which led Mr. Laporte to the Paris Criminal Court , at the end of 2022. The president of the FFR was indeed sentenced at first instance to a two-year suspended prison sentence, a fine of 75,000 euros and a two-year ban on exercising any function in connection with rugby, among other things for passive corruption, influence peddling and illegal taking of interests. He appealed against this judgment. The investigation which earned him to be placed in police custody is also separate from that of the PNF targeting the organizing committee of the 2023 Rugby World Cup for favouritism, influence peddling and corruption. Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Why Bernard Laporte will remain at the head of the French Rugby Federation, despite his conviction for corruption The police custody of the former sports minister comes the day after the start of the vote, from Monday to Thursday, amateur rugby clubs which must validate – or not – the appointment of Patrick Buisson, a close friend of Mr. Laporte, as delegate president of the FFR. The current vice-president of the federation, whose name was proposed by Bernard Laporte (in accordance with the federal statutes), said last week that he wanted to “embody the end of business”. The timing of this audition takes Me Versini-Campinchi off its hinges. “I find this behavior appalling, which corresponds to a desire to harm Mr. Laporte, protests the lawyer. This is the third time since 2020 [before the re-election of Mr. Laporte as head of the FFR] that the PNF has chosen to take public measures at an untimely time and to disclose them. This time it is in the middle of a referendum. We want Mr. Laporte’s skin. Mr. Laporte’s lawyers are considering the “possibility” of seizing the court for gross negligence of the judicial administration because of “this repetition of the violation of the secrets of the investigation in the Bernard Laporte file”. Rémi Dupré (with AFP) The contributions area is reserved for subscribers. Subscribe to access this discussion space and contribute to the discussion. Subscribe Contribute Add to your selections Add to your selections To add the article to your selections, identify yourself Create an account Do you already have an account?Sign in

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