(Paris) Anticor filed a complaint on April 7 against Nicolas Sarkozy, Claude Guéant and publicist François de La Brosse, suspecting the existence of a corruption pact in connection with the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar, indicated Tuesday the anti-corruption association.
The complaint, revealed by the daily Le Monde, targets the former head of state, his former right-hand man Claude Guéant, François de La Brosse as well as the former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad Ben Jassem al-Thani for trafficking in influence, bribery of a foreign public official, criminal conspiracy, illegal election campaign financing and concealment of this offence.
To support its complaint, Anticor relies on an article by Mediapart, published in September, reporting the free collaboration of François de La Brosse, via his company ZNZ Group, in the presidential campaign of Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007, then as a communication advisor at the Élysée.
In 2011, ZNZ encountering financial difficulties, Mr. de La Brush, who estimated the unbilled services at nearly 2.8 million euros, approached the former head of state and then Mr. Guéant.
Also according to Mediapart, which cites an investigation document, ZNZ and the Qatari company Q. Media would then have signed a memorandum of understanding in the summer of 2011 for the creation of a web TV, “Enjoy Qatar”. Q. Media, owned by Mr. al-Thani’s son-in-law, allegedly paid 600,000 euros to ZNZ.
In its complaint, consulted by AFP, Anticor also mentions other invoices and Q. Media’s stake in the French company.
“Are we here faced with an offer of a corrupting pact which would have been made with the specific and sole objective of thanking François de La Brosse for his services, or else faced with the partial realization of a broader corrupting pact which would have been previously concluded between Nicolas Sarkozy and Qatar? asks the association.
“Claude Guéant has not been the subject of any questioning on this old subject for which there is nothing to reproach him for,” reacted his lawyer, Me Philippe Bouchez El Ghozi.
Anticor would like these elements to be attached to the judicial information on the conditions under which, on December 2, 2010, FIFA awarded Qatar the organization of the World Cup, which was played last fall in the emirate. . Anticor is a civil party in this case.
In this file, open since 2019, the investigators are trying to determine whether the designation of the Gulf country gave rise to “a give and take deal” concluded during a lunch at the Élysée Palace on November 23, 2010 bringing together Mr. Sarkozy, Michel Platini, then UEFA President, and M. al-Thani, Crown Prince of Qatar who became Emir in 2013.
For the association’s lawyer, Me Jean-Baptiste Soufron, “it was important for Anticor to take up this case because of its potential links with the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar on the one hand, but also because of potential influence peddling and acts of corruption that would have been committed directly in connection with a presidential campaign”.
Mr. Sarkozy’s lawyer did not immediately respond.