The judiciary will open an investigation into the town hall of Fréjus, led by a heavyweight of the National Rally, David Rachline, following a book questioning its management, we learned on Sunday from the prosecutor's office, confirming a report by L'Obs. "The public prosecutor's office in Draguignan will open an investigation into the town hall of Fréjus," Draguignan public prosecutor Pierre Couttenier told AFP.
This is an extension of the book," he added, without wishing to specify the leaders of the investigation or whether one or more complaints had been filed following the publication of the book "Les Rapaces" (Les Arènes edition), written by L'Obs journalist Camille Vigogne Le Coat and published in early November.
According to L'Obs, which quotes the prosecutor, this "preliminary investigation" concerns "cases of the awarding of public contracts and cases possibly suggestive of illegal acquisition of interests and favoritism." The book denounces the far-right politician's lifestyle, which has nothing to do with his allowances as an elected official. He also accuses him of making arrangements with a powerful local construction contractor for the awarding of public contracts, far from the image of exemplarity that his party claims, and relays the mayor's drunken parties, where racist remarks and anti-Semitic gestures are said to have been made.
Read alsoThe National Rally struggles to gain a foothold in major cities
It is quite common for the prosecutor's office to open an investigation into whether what is stated in this book is true or not. I think it's quite natural," said Marine Le Pen, president of the RN group in the National Assembly, who was invited to the Europe1/CNews/Les Echos Grand Jury. Contacted by AFP, David Rachline, who said several weeks ago that there is "no factual element that tends to show that the procedures are not respected" for public procurement, could not immediately be reached to comment on the opening of the investigation.
For the past ten years, he has been in charge of this seaside town of 56,000 inhabitants, which has been set up as a showcase for the Lepéniste project. The 36-year-old has climbed the steps of the party at high speed. A city councillor at the age of 20, he led the National Youth Front and was Marine Le Pen's campaign manager for the 2017 presidential election. Five years later, the former senator, who was re-elected as mayor of his city in the first round in 2020, was propelled to second vice-president of the far-right party.