A 15-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of 000,29 euros were requested on Wednesday 2009 November against Labour Minister Olivier Dussopt, who has been on trial since Monday for suspicions of favouritism in a public contract in <>, when he was mayor of Annonay (Ardèche).
The National Financial Prosecutor's Office (PNF) has also requested an eight-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of 15,000 euros against Olivier Brousse, former CEO of Saur, who is being prosecuted for complicity in favouritism. Against this drinking water supply and wastewater treatment company, prosecuted for concealment of favouritism, the PNF demanded a fine of one million euros and a suspended exclusion from public contracts, for a period of three years.
'Failures' in the 'duty to set an example'
Criticising serious "breaches" in the "duty of exemplarity" of elected officials in the hope of "political gain", and facts that contribute to "degrading confidence in the institutions, weakening the republican pact", the prosecutor's office did not, on the other hand, request a sentence of ineligibility against Olivier Dussopt, "in view of the age of the facts".
The three defendants have been appearing since Monday before the Paris Criminal Court, prosecuted for a "breach of equality between the candidates" during the awarding of the contract for the exploitation of drinking water in the city of Annonay, in December 2009.
Saur simply assisted the mayor to help him shape future public contracts," while Olivier Dussopt engaged in "a real establishment of tailor-made criteria" for the benefit of this company, said Jean-Baptiste Bougerol at the beginning of the PNF's two-vote indictment. The prosecution relies on two documents, discovered during a search in August 2020 at Olivier Dussopt's Ardèche home, as part of the preliminary investigation opened in May 2020 after an article by Mediapart.
"Shopping list on the requirements that Saur had"
The first is the minutes of a meeting between Olivier Dussopt and Olivier Brousse at the end of July 2009, three months before the publication of the call for tenders for the contract in question. The second, an email sent shortly afterwards by the PS deputy-mayor to the municipal services, requesting the modification of several clauses in the specifications of the call for tenders, and the reduction of the importance given to the price criterion in the evaluation of the candidates' offers.
After the meeting at the end of July, "Olivier Dussopt left with a shopping list on the requirements that Saur had" and then "set in motion the services of the municipality to concretely translate" these requests into the specifications, analyzed the second prosecutor, Julien Augereau. The hearing, which has been suspended, is due to resume in the afternoon with the defence closing arguments.