The case of surveys is the Elysée presidential term of Nicolas Sarkozy that the tape is Captain Haddock: a constant source of bother, whose victims are struggling to unravel. This Wednesday, the sulfur Patrick Buisson and Pierre Giacometti, interviewed by investigators from the Brigade of repression of Economic Crimes (OERD), have once again, bitter experience. Their hearings led to the indictment of the first named, including “misuse of company property and misappropriation of public funds.”
This is the latest twist in a serial date that drags on since the summer of 2009. Express back on six years of scandals, poised to turn a new Buisson case.
July 2009: the Court of Auditors takes out his calculator
On 15 July 2009 the Court of Auditors publishes a report vitriolic on the 2008 budget of the Elysee. Rue Cambon tip including the conditions under which the Palace then occupied by Nicolas Sarkozy reached an agreement with the firm Publifact Studies, founded by Patrick Buisson, also adviser to the head of state. The document allows the company to charge the Elysee surveys ordered in OpinionWay institute. There is talk of some 400,000 euros … for non-exclusive surveys since appeared in the press elsewhere. Do not spoil this market was concluded beyond a tender at a rate that raises questions. A few days later, Claude Gueant, secretary general of the Elysee up to the front: “We control surveys, if newspapers want to buy the same, nothing can be done.”
October 2009: the opposition is trying to interfere
The opposition is quick to seize the record, including voice Delphine Batho, while MP PS. “We are here in the heart of a system of manipulation of public opinion and in collusion between the government, a pollster and some media,” the future is indignant former Environment Minister Ayrault’s government. From autumn 2009, the environmental activist Raymond Avrillier, known to have dropped former UMP mayor of Grenoble Alain Carignon, seized the Paris Administrative Court on the subject. By early next year, the Socialist Group in the Assembly is going to demand a commission of inquiry on the expenditures of the Presidency in matters polls. But the proposal, signed among others by Jean-Marc Ayrault, will eventually scuttled by the majority UMP, which excludes expenses of the Elysee investigative field.
2011: Pierre Giacometti boarded the boat Buisson
In 2011, a new report from the Court of Auditors pin this time funding “related surveys the personal image of Ministers or to distant areas of government action. ” Most importantly, this report focuses on the main beneficiary of this sondagière bulimia: several contracts were awarded without competitive bidding, with the firm of another adviser to Nicolas Sarkozy, the former head of Ipsos Pierre Giacometti. “This potential overbilling raises the issue of irregular money out of the state coffers” accuses Raymond Avrillier, which amounts to EUR 2.98 million and 1.38 million for Publifact for the amount Giacometti-Péron Total charged.
In November of that same year, the Justice precludes an investigating magistrate, saying it could be traced back to the head of state, which can not be the investigation during his tenure.
February 2012, “What possible marriage with Carla Bruni-you think”
In early 2012, then in full presidential campaign, the Justice responds favorably to the request of Raymond Avrillier and Anticor association and urged the Elysee to publish the study conventions and the bills polls. The activist receives all the documents three months later, 9.4 million of surveys and studies have been paid between 2007 and 2012. More importantly, the questions asked by the pollsters never tire of surprise. “For each of the following people would you say that it would make a good candidate for the presidential election?” queries a study in the December 2008 listing of personalities of the PS. But the prize goes without question to this crucial question for the state: “What do you think of the possible marriage [Nicolas Sarkozy] with Carla Bruni?”
December 2012: Justice can finally investigate
On December 19, 2012, a few months after the election of François Hollande, the Supreme Court returns to Justice of the 2011 decision and authorizes the judge Parisian Serge Tournaire instruction to investigate the regularity of contracts between the Elysee and nine research institutes under the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy. Q ome months later, we learned that another investigation was opened by the prosecutor of Paris, this time targeting the surveys commissioned by Matignon, when Francois Fillon was still in business.
April 2013: search of the home of Patrick Buisson
March 28, 2013, counsel for the Anticor Jérôme Karsenti Association reveals that surveys commissioned by the Elysee during the last two years the mandate of Nicolas Sarkozy were not found in the accounts of the Palace. To find them, a search is conducted April 4 at the office and the home of Patrick Buisson.
June 2015: Claude Guéant is placed in custody
On June 3, after one year of status quo the case takes a new turn with the placement of six protagonists of the case in custody. Among them, there are notably the former secretary general of the Elysee Claude Gueant and his successor Xavier Musca, or Emmanuelle Mignon which was Nicolas Sarkozy’s chief of staff during his five years. ThE hearing will lead to any indictments. At least until July 29 and that of Patrick Buisson, for “receiving stolen favoritism, misuse of corporate assets and abuse of public funds by an individual.”