GRAPHICS – The Bordeaux magistrates sentenced François-Marie Banier, Patrice de Maistre and Martin d’Orgeval to heavy penalties. Only Eric Woerth was unhurt deliberations of the Bordeaux magistrates.
Dazed, dumb, the Defendants are released one by one from the courtroom, avoiding microphones. Following a reading over an hour and a half explaining the reasons of their convictions, the judges deseeded penalties, heavy for some heavier than the requisitions of the prosecution in this “abuse of weakness” component. For them, the defendants abused the vulnerability well Liliane Bettencourt, the “old lady” as they have stopped calling. François-Marie Banier was handed a sentence slightly less than the maximum sentence requested by the prosecutor Gerard Aldigé February 20, after four weeks of debate. The photographer was sentenced to three years imprisonment (six months suspended) and a fine of € 350,000. He must also pay 158 million euros to Liliane Bettencourt.
The former asset manager Patrice de Maistre was sentenced to 30 months in prison with 12 suspended, fined € 250,000 and must pay 12 million euros to the billionaire. Same penalty for the lawyer Pascal Wilhelm, whose release had yet been required (must on his part reimburse nearly $ 3 million to Liliane Bettencourt). The Bordeaux magistrates emphasized that he had “undermined the image of L’Oréal for its investment suspects.” Other convictions, that of Martin d’Orgeval, the companion of François-Marie Banier, lighter than required (18-month suspended sentence and a fine of € 150 000), Carlos Cassina Vejarano, former manager of the island Arros (18 months in prison, suspended 9 250,000 € fine) or Master Jean-Michel Normand (12 months suspended and a fine of € 100 000).
In the details pane ” influence peddling “, which also involved Eric Woerth and Patrice de Maistre, both men are released. Eric Woerth was suspected of having obtained the Legion of Honor to Patrice de Maistre in exchange for a hiring of his wife Florence in the Clymène company (responsible for managing the dividend for L’Oreal Bettencourt).
At the end of the hearing, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, surrounded by her two son Jean-Victor and Nicolas, stops a few moments before a wall of reporters. In an almost inaudible voice, she says thinking “to his mother, his honor and dignity.” The defense lawyers themselves, are firing on all cylinders against the “severity” of Bordeaux judges. For Pierre Cornut-Gentille, lawyer François-Marie Banier, “the court of Bordeaux’s thesis completely wife Françoise Meyers” and has obscured the many correspondences between the two friends. “It is as if the debate had not taken place”, especially on the widely debated issue of vulnerability of Liliane Bettencourt and the start date of its disorders. His colleague Mr Laurent Merlet speaks of a decision “extremely shocking” that sounds like a “conviction of Liliane Bettencourt, her life choices, choices friendship. This is a denial of free will that woman. ” Like his colleagues, Jacqueline Laffont, Patrice de Maistre defense bitterly regrets that the indictment for false testimony of key players like Claire Thibout (in separate proceedings in Paris) was obscured. “We have the impression of a schizophrenic justice with a reality in Paris with witnesses indicted and another in Bordeaux …” The lawyers of the main two defendants announced plans to appeal the decision Bordeaux.
The only winner in history, Éric Woerth, absent from the hearing, has a low profile. On leaving the room, his lawyer, Jean-Yves Le Borgne, in all modesty savoring the double release of his client: “there was much talk of the Woerth-Bettencourt affair, you see, it was wrong.”