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Sciences Po director under investigation

2023-12-04T18:55:49.971Z

Highlights: Sciences Po director under investigation. Mathias Vicherat and his wife were taken into custody, accusing each other of domestic violence. "It's revolting. Once again, we trusted. We feel betrayed," says Titouan Le Bouard, a student at Sciences Po's Unef. "We fear that a new scandal could hit the institution," says a source in higher education. The forensic medical unit did not identify any total incapacity for work (ITT), and "the investigation is continuing in the preliminary phase"


Mathias Vicherat and his wife were taken into custody, accusing each other of domestic violence.


A dark streak for Sciences Po Paris, once again in turmoil. Its director, Mathias Vicherat, and his partner, Anissa Bonnefont, were taken into custody on Sunday evening at the police station in the 7th arrondissement of the capital, until late Monday afternoon. The spouses "denounce reciprocal domestic violence," the Paris prosecutor's office said Monday. In the end, "neither of them wanted to file a complaint at this stage," he said. The forensic medical unit did not identify any total incapacity for work (ITT), and "the investigation is continuing in the preliminary phase".

"Sciences Po has learned from the press about its director Mathias Vicherat. As this is a strictly private matter, Sciences Po has no details or comments to make at this stage," the institution said in a statement. "At this stage, Mathias Vicherat is presumed innocent," the Ministry of Higher Education said, recalling the government's "firm commitment to the fight against domestic violence."

New scandal

Anissa Bonnefont, 39, is an actress and director who is responsible for the documentaries Wonder Boy, born under x, about French fashion designer Olivier Rousteing, and Nadia, about Danish footballer Nadia Nadim. For his part, Mathias Vicherat, 45, took over as head of the Institut d'études politiques (IEP) in Paris in November 2021. Himself a graduate of Sciences Po and an alumnus of the ENA - in the same class as the head of state Emmanuel Macron - he spent six years at the Paris City Hall between 2010 and 2016, under the mandates of Bertrand Delanoë and Anne Hidalgo, before occupying high-ranking positions in the private sector, at the SNCF, then at Danone.

On the students' side, it is with bitterness that they react to the detention of the director. "It's revolting. Once again, we trusted. We feel betrayed, even if we respect the current procedure," said Titouan Le Bouard, a student at Sciences Po's Unef, who did not rule out a mobilization of students as early as Tuesday. "Two years after the appointment of Mathias Vicherat, we fear that a new scandal could hit the institution." Since the death in 2012 of the emblematic Richard Descoings, Sciences Po has experienced many unsavory episodes. By early 2021, the school had lost both of its heads. Olivier Duhamel, the president of his private law foundation, the National Foundation of Political Science (FNSP), was initially forced to resign after accusations of incest were made by Camille Kouchner in her book La Familia grande (Le Seuil). In the aftermath, the director of the IEP Frédéric Mion, Richard Descoings' successor, was forced to do the same, admitting to having been aware, in 2018, of rumours implicating Olivier Duhamel. It was at the end of a long procedure, with 23 candidates in the running, that Mathias Vicherat was appointed. A man out of the hat.

The news of the forty-year-old's detention obviously did not go unnoticed. "For a long time, Sciences Po was the showcase of French higher education. Everything that happens there is therefore closely scrutinized. If a university president were involved in a private matter of this kind, almost no one would talk about it. But now...", confides a figure in higher education. "We have to let things clear up and respect the presumption of innocence, but it is clear that this gives arguments to those internally who want to oust him. And there are many of them," says a connoisseur of the establishment.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-12-04

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