Rugby: 3 years in prison required against Bernard Laporte

The prosecution requested three years in prison on Tuesday, including two years suspended against Bernard Laporte, president of the French Rugby Federation. He is suspected of corruption.

Three years in prison, including one firm, were required Tuesday against the president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) Bernard Laporte and the businessman Mohed Altrad, suspected of having established a “pact of corruption” in 2017.

After an indictment of nearly four hours, the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office also called on the Paris Criminal Court to prohibit, for two years, Bernard Laporte from exercising any function in rugby and Mohed Altrad, CEO of the construction giant of the same name, to manage a trading company. Fines, respectively of 50,000 and 200,000 euros, were claimed against them.

The defendants, who dispute the facts, “have damaged the probity surrounding French rugby”, justified the financial prosecutor François-Xavier Dulin.

“hidden trading conditions”

According to the prosecution, the former coach of the Blues would have made a series of arbitrations favorable to the Altrad group – including the granting of sponsorship of the XV of France shirt – with whom he had established a “secret” image contract which resulted in the payment without consideration of 180,000 euros at the beginning of 2017.

The other financial prosecutor, Céline Guillet, provided the “obscure negotiation conditions” and an “inadequate amount” of remuneration and recalled that Bernard Laporte will not have received any of the services listed in this agreement.

According to the prosecutor, the boss of French rugby will on the other hand have carried out “atypical interventions” and “problematic” for the benefit of the interests of Mohed Altrad, his group and his Montpellier rugby club (MHR), of which he is the president. .

“an impartial procedure”

The prosecution notably retained the intervention, at the end of June 2017, of Bernard Laporte with the appeal commission of the FFR, statutorily independent, which would have had the effect of alleviating failed disciplinary sanctions at the MHR.

The prosecutors also denounced the conditions for granting the sponsorship of the XV of France jersey to the Altrad group, for 6.8 million euros per year, which would not have given rise to “an impartial procedure”.

Two years in prison, one of which is suspended, have also been requested against Claude Atcher, recently dismissed from his post as director of the organization of the 2023 World Cup, who is suspected of having received unjustified sums from the FFR. on the sidelines of the award of this competition to France.

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