Bernard Laporte, Mohed Altrad and three other people come out of police custody

In August 2017, Le Journal du dimanche (JDD) revealed a compromising conversation that had occurred two months earlier between Bernard Laporte and the chairman of the federal appeal commission, Jean-Daniel Simonet and relating to a sanction against the club from Montpellier,

After almost two days in police custody in Paris, the president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) Bernard Laporte and the businessman Mohed Altrad, owner of the Montpellier club but also “jersey sponsor” of the Blues, came out. free Wednesday, September 23 early evening, announced some of their lawyers. The three other people who had also been taken into police custody were also released.

No follow-up is announced for the moment. It will be up to the national financial prosecutor’s office to decide what extensions it wants to give to the preliminary investigation which was opened in 2017 and concerned a suspicion of favoritism between MM. Laporte and Altrad, the latter being not only the president of the Montpellier club, but also the “jersey sponsor” of the FFR.

MM. Laporte and Altrad were heard by the Economic Crime Repression Brigade (BRDE) at the same time as Serge Simon, vice-president of the FFR, Nicolas Hourquet, responsible for international relations of the FFR, and Claude Atcher, director general of the organizing committee for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, scheduled for France.

Penalty revised downwards for the Montpellier club

In August 2017, The Sunday newspaper (JDD) had revealed a compromising conversation: which occurred two months earlier between Bernard Laporte and the president of the federal appeal committee, Jean-Daniel Simonet, this discussion concerned a sanction against the Montpellier club, after the deployment of ‘a banner hostile to the National Rugby League.

Overnight, the envisaged sentence is reduced, going from a 70,000 euros fine and a closed-door match to only 20,000 euros fine and a suspension of the match.

The JDD had also revealed the existence of an image contract between a personal company of Bernard Laporte, BL Communication, and the Altrad group (manufacture of construction equipment). The secret contract should have brought 150,000 euros to the head of the FFR for four seminars, if press articles had not forced him to give it up.

A phone call to “shed some political light”

Following these revelations, Laura Flessel, then sports minister, launched an administrative investigation. In a confidential report, including The world had become aware, the General Inspectorate of Youth and Sports (IGJS) had indicated that it had “Not formally established” the “Exact content” of the telephone conversation in question.

His two investigators had, however, consider ” that the hypothesis of a link between the intervention of the president of the FFR and the change made “ by the appeal board ” born (could) not be dismissed “.

In an interview with Parisian, in August 2017, Bernard Laporte recognized his phone call to Jean-Daniel Simonet. For him “To give political light” of the situation, not to influence it, he assured.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Why justice suspects Bernard Laporte, still in custody

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