This unconventional case arose in 2007 of a mother-daughter conflict to turn into a political and financial drama. Three months after the end of the trial component of “abuse of weakness” of the case Bettencourt, the ten defendants, including the former Minister UMP Eric Woerth , suspected of having abused to varying degrees of the vulnerability of the wealthy heiress of L’Oréal, will be set on Thursday on their fate.
The Criminal Court Bordeaux will decide the same day on another aspect of the case, ruled late March, an alleged “influence peddling” around a Legion of Honor, in which Eric Woerth and the former manager of fortune Liliane Bettencourt , Patrice de Maistre , also continued. For a month, from January 26 to February 25, the three judges Bordeaux immersed themselves in family rifts around the richest woman in France (36 billion euros) and clan warfare in his mansion in Neuilly sur-Seine (Hauts-de-Seine).
Donations largesse or withdrawn?
The court had to sort out gifts and bequests under the generosity of the 10th world fortune largesse – cash is sometimes hundreds of millions of euros – that could be him withdrawn as his health declined. All on substantive debate among specialists on discernment capacity between 2006 and 2011, the multi-billionaire 92 years old today and has Alzheimer’s disease, which did not attend the trial.
Of the ten defendants prosecuted for abuse of weakness, laundering, concealment and complicity, only eight have finally appeared: Alain Thurin, former nurse of the old lady, tried to commit suicide the eve of the trial and could not be judged; the former manager of the Seychelles island of Bettencourt, Carlos Vejarano, do not show, arguing medical reasons. After four weeks of intense discussions, the prosecutor demanded the maximum penalty – three years in prison and 375,000 euro fine – against François-Marie Banier photographer, 67, who invariably invoked in court “the pleasure of giving “his friend Liliane, a woman” extremely generous “who, he said,” in his right mind. ”
Relax requested for Woerth
Three years in prison, including 18 months suspended and 375.000 euro fine were required against Patrice de Maistre, and Martin D’Orgeval, companion Banier. The prison was also claimed against Vejarano. The acquittal has, however, been requested for the former Minister Nicolas Sarkozy Eric Woerth prosecuted for “concealment” and has formally denied having received money from Patrice de Maistre. Also demanded acquittal for audiovisual entrepreneur Stephane Courbit, Pascal Wilhelm lawyer and sued two notaries.
The same prosecutor, Gerard Aldigé, has requested one month later the release for Messrs. Woerth and Maistre in the “influence peddling” pane, where the first was suspected of having given the Legion of Honour in the second, in exchange for a job for his wife with Bettencourt. Former President Nicolas Sarkozy , a time indicted, received a dismissal. The Bettencourt affair is endless twists to know: the end of April, two months after the end of the Bordeaux hearing, an old friend and two former employees of the L’Oreal heiress, witnesses at trial, have was indicted in Paris for “false testimony.”
Two other expected trial
Those implicated in an open separate procedure after complaints from Banier and Maistre in 2012, follow the indictment for the same head, the end of 2014, the former accountant of the billionaire, Claire Thibout. The main accuser of the two men questioned by videoconferencing, maintained his statements at trial. This procedural telescoping had prompted defense attorneys to ask, in vain, a reference, pending the completion of the Paris statement.
After the judgment, Bordeaux will have none finished with Bettencourt. Two other trials are expected: on 8 and 9 June for the “breach of confidentiality” pane in which is questioned the judge Isabelle Prevost-Desprez Nanterre; then to a still unknown date for the “breach of privacy” pane, which continued five journalists and former Liliane Bettencourt butler, Pascal Bonnefoy, author of the clandestine recordings which precipitated the case.