Justice. At his trial, Bernard Laporte sentenced to conflict of interest charges

Justice.  At his trial, Bernard Laporte sentenced to conflict of interest charges

In my head there are no conflicts of interest“: The head of the French rugby federation (FFR) Bernard Laporte fought this Thursday to justify the commercial ties established with the president of the Top 14 club Mohed Altrad, behind whom the prosecution sees a pact of “corruptionBefore the criminal court that has been judging him since Wednesday in Paris, the oval strongman had to give long explanations about the February 2017 contract under which he was paid 180,000 euros in exchange for services for the construction group of the Mr. Altrad, also president of Montpellier Hérault Rugby (MHR).

No service will be performed and Mr. Altrad will benefit from a series of favorable arbitrations from the federation: in March 2017, his group becomes the first shirt sponsor of the French XV and, in June, the MHR club sees Reduced disciplinary sanction. on appeal after a phone call from Mr. Laporte. Rose-Marie Hunault, the president of the court, is surprised: did Mr. Laporte not perceive potential conflicts of interest in signing a contract with a club president, and friend, after he was just elected head of the FFR? ?

The former coach of the Blues admits not having consulted the legal department of his federation and limits himself to saying that he raised the issue with his wife, a tax attorney.

– “I’m not a lawyer, sorry. In my head, things are clear.“.

– “But in the contract they are not!“continues the president, who is surprised at how little Mr. Laporte seems to know about what he should do for the Altrad group. In particular, mention was made of the aid for the acquisition of an English company then coveted by the group and of which Mr Laporte admitted at the hearing that he knew nothing. “You are not very curious Mr. Laporte! Less than court anyway“Slides the president.

The president plays smart, apologizes for having “it’s been too long“, repeat several times do”know nothingin rugby, but his mastery of the file puts Mr. Laporte in difficulty. To defend himself, the manager tries a parade: there can be no conflicts of interest since the Montpellier club depends on the Rugby League and not on the FFR.

Immediate response from the president who points out that the decisions of the League can be annulled by the Federation, which also has a say in the disciplinary sanctions imposed on the Top 14 clubs.We let (the League) fend for themselves, except when things go wrong“, it is necessary to recognize Mr. Laporte who seemed calmer the day before when the court was monopolized by the attacks of the lawyers against the investigation of the national financial prosecutor’s office.

selfless gesture

The former coach of the Blues was also more serene at the beginning of his interrogation, when the president asked him about his career and his rise to the head of the federation, which he presented as a selfless gesture for a sport.who gave him everything“. In 2016, Mr. Laporte left his coaching duties at RC Toulon to run voluntarily for the position of president of the federation with the aim of bringing the shine back to the oval. “Rugby was receding and was in check“said Mr Laporte, incriminating the National Rugby League which he claimed had “He took power“.

That’s why I left the professional world, I owe everything to rugby and it was time to commit“, he explained, assuming his desire to find a shirt sponsor for the XV of France in order to”redistribute» income to the amateur world. But there again, the chairman wavered him, in particular by questioning him about the 2015 French rugby ethics and professional conduct charter, which the FFR is legally responsible for enforcing.

One of his articles asks “ensure the democratic, transparent and impartial functioning of rugby institutions, in particular by preventing conflicts of interest“. Pressed by Ms. Hunault, Mr. Laporte has to admit: he has “never read” this letter. End of trial scheduled for September 22.

SEE ALSO – Paris Saint-Germain ‘third’ kit revealed

#Justice #trial #Bernard #Laporte #sentenced #conflict #interest #charges

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *