Already debated before the administrative authorities, the accusations of buying influence against Martine Aubry take a judicial turn. According to information revealed by BFMTV, the Lille prosecutor's office opened a preliminary investigation at the end of August against the PS mayor for corruption and illegal taking of interests during the campaign for the 2020 municipal elections. Contacted by us, the public prosecutor declined to comment. As for Martine Aubry's office, it says it is not aware of the launch of such investigations.
On the other hand, the Renaissance MP and unfortunate candidate in the election, Violette Spillebout, confirms to us to be at the origin of a report transmitted to the justice on December 20, 2021 in which she accuses Martine Aubry of having offered a municipal job to the boxing champion, Licia Boudersa, in exchange for her political support.
'I don't care about politics'
It all starts with the launch of the election campaign in September 2019. At that time, the influence of the four-time world boxing champion, super featherweight category, was coveted by the Renaissance candidate. For Violette Spillebout, the Lille Licia Boudersa - very popular in her commune - corresponds in every way to her program, so she offers him to join his list. But the sportswoman declines the offer and appears a few months later, in March 2020, among the supporters of her competitor, the outgoing mayor Martine Aubry. "I support Martine Aubry because she has always supported me. She believes in the youth of Lille! I support her and I believe in her, "chants the champion in a video published on her social networks.
In the process, the boxer who was then looking for a job, gets a fixed-term contract of one year as a sports animator at the town hall of Lille. Is it a favor obtained in return for his political support? The entourage of Violette Spillebout expressed its astonishment to Licia Boudersa in a conversation on Messenger (Facebook's messaging), which Le Figaro was able to consult. "I've always said my priority is my job. I don't care about politics, my interest is personal," admits the boxer before adding: "Whether it's a year or a day, I take what I'm given and, at the moment, no one has offered me better (...) I've always said I'll be with the person who gets me a job." According to Violette Spillebout, Licia Boudersa confirms, by this exchange, to have made a pact with Martine Aubry, each finding an interest.
Dismissed by the administrative justice system
After the 2020 municipal elections, the MP is contesting the victory of Martine Aubry – who received 15,389 votes, or 40% of the votes cast – before the National Commission of Campaign Accounts. In her appeal, she refers in particular to the arrangements between the mayor and the boxer, which she likens to a "buying of influence". In a decision rendered on March 4, 2021, the court administers Lille considers that "the influence attributed to Licia Boudersa within certain Lille neighborhoods and the transfer of votes that her support for Martine Aubry could have led to are not established by the only documents produced by the protesters".
Brought before the Council of State, the case was once again dismissed on 20 July 2021. In its judgment, consulted by Le Figaro, the highest administrative body considers that "all communication operations have retained, both in terms of content and audience, a limited character that made them unlikely to affect the vote of a significant proportion of their recipients". If the judge does evoke a "contentious" support, he considers that it "can not be regarded as having been likely to alter the sincerity of the vote".
Thus, the validity of the election cannot be questioned. As for the possible criminal nature of the manoeuvre, the Council of State refers the matter to the competent body, the judicial court. Hence the report made to the public prosecutor and which brings back an imbroglio more than three years old. Will the case be prosecuted this time? Martine Aubry's office sweeps away the question: "There is nothing to see."