investigating judges investigate — RT in French

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investigating judges investigate — RT in French
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The PNF opened two judicial inquiries at the end of October, one “on the conditions of intervention of consulting firms in the electoral campaigns of 2017 and 2022”, the other on suspicions of “favoritism” concerning them.

The financial public prosecutor Jean-François Bohnert indicated, on November 24 in a press release, that the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) had opened two judicial inquiries at the end of October: one “on the conditions of intervention of consulting firms in the 2017 and 2022 election campaigns”, the other on suspicion of “favoritism” concerning them.

During the last presidential campaign, a Senate report sparked heated controversy over the use of public funds and the opposition called for an investigation into possible favoritism by the Macronist majority for the benefit of the consulting firm McKinsey.

After an article from Parisian entitled “McKinsey case: Emmanuel Macron targeted by an investigation for illegal campaign financing”, the PNF published a press release on November 24 to “clarify the situation of various criminal proceedings” initiated after the Senate report as well as various complaints and reports.

The prosecution clarified that “following several reports and complaints from elected officials and individuals, a judicial investigation was opened on October 20, 2022, in particular of the heads of non-compliant keeping of campaign accounts and reduction of accounting elements in a campaign account, relating to the conditions of intervention of consulting firms in the electoral campaigns of 2017 and 2022”.

The public prosecutor also added that following “several complaints from elected officials and associations, a judicial investigation was opened on October 21, 2022 into the heads of favoritism and concealment of favouritism”.

1 billion euros in contracts with private firms: a record in 2021

Published on March 16, the report of the Senate’s commission of inquiry into the growing influence of private consulting firms on public policies, initiated by the majority communist CRCE group, assured that the contracts signed between the State and several firms had “more than doubled” between 2018 and 2021, for a record amount of more than 1 billion euros in 2021.

The opposition had demanded in the process the opening of an investigation into what it denounced as the favoritism which the Macronist majority would show for the benefit of McKinsey.

According to Mediapart, some members of the cabinet could have worked for free during Emmanuel Macron’s victorious presidential campaign in 2017.

The Senate report also pointed to a possible tax arrangement for McKinsey’s French entities, which would have allowed them to pay no corporate tax between 2011 and 2020.

In his press release, Jean-François Bohnert recalled that a preliminary investigation had already been underway since March 31 for “aggravated money laundering of aggravated tax evasion”. It resulted in a search of McKinsey’s French headquarters on May 24.

Then candidate, Emmanuel Macron had estimated that the non-payment of corporate tax by McKinsey was explained by the tax rules in force. “If there is evidence of manipulation, let it go to the criminal court,” he said last March.

Details to follow…

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