An empty space in the courtroom. The place reserved for Bernard Tapie and his lawyers remained unoccupied, Wednesday, June 2, during the indictment with two votes pronounced before the Paris Court of Appeal in the case of the arbitration to 403 million euros.
The absence at the trial of the businessman and the refusal of his lawyers to represent him since Tuesday, May 25 did not weaken the conviction of the prosecution: Bernard Tapie must be found guilty of embezzlement of public funds and of complicity fraud by instruction, said Advocate General Serge Roques. “By entering into arbitration, Bernard Tapie’s objective was not to put an end to a dispute, it was to enrich himself”, he added.
But the worsening state of health of the businessman led the prosecution to request against him a five-year prison sentence with full suspension, a fine of 300,000 euros, as well as confiscation. of all movable and immovable property already seized. The Advocate General paid tribute to the “Courage and fighting spirit” of Bernard Tapie in the face of illness.
“Several major errors of law”
The stake, for the prosecution, is the conviction of the defendants, after the snub represented by the general acquittal pronounced in July 2019 by the Paris Criminal Court. A decision which Advocate General Serge Roques has also affirmed that it included “Several major errors of law”.
Bernard Tapie, he says, very early on wanted to promote an out-of-court solution. “He was so convinced he was right that he did not hesitate to defraud the outcome. He did everything to advance his cause. ” But the prosecution no longer considers him the main perpetrator of the scam: “He is the principal and the beneficiary. ”
During the maneuver, the prosecution appoints Maurice Lantourne, Bernard Tapie’s historical lawyer, and Pierre Estoup, the former magistrate and member of the arbitral tribunal who in 2007 ruled in favor of the businessman.
Against the lawyer, the prosecution requested a three-year suspended prison sentence, a fine of 300,000 euros and a three-year professional ban for fraud. “In this case, many have lost their bearings, observed Serge Roques. Maurice Lantourne lacked probity and did not respect his imperative duty as a lawyer. “
You have 51.28% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.