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Me Versini, lawyer for Laporte: “His dishonesty, I expect it to be demonstrated to me”


At the end of the judgment at first instance pronounced by the Court of Paris, the lawyer for the president of the FFR hammered, once again, the innocence of his client.

What is your reaction after this deliberation?

Maître Jean-Pierre Versini:

Not satisfactory.

Why ?

It can be considered that there was an illegal taking of interest.

But going from illegal taking of interest to corruption does not make sense.

This does not match the file.

As it stands, it is a court decision that will be canceled by the effect of the appeal that we are going to file.

The court, despite the efforts of the public prosecutor, did not consider that there were grounds for provisional execution.

And, therefore, from the moment we appeal the judgment, we find ourselves, in a year and a half or two years, in exactly the same situation as the first day of its hearings.

Bernard Laporte therefore remains president of the FFR...


He cannot envisage abandoning his functions, the provisional execution not having been pronounced.

That would be a leak... It doesn't make sense.

Bernard Laporte, it is thanks to him that the World Cup will take place in France.

It is thanks to him that there is (Fabien) Galthié.

Imagine that the world of rugby considers that he must disappear... I hope he will make the decision to stay.

When you make a decision like that in terms of corruption, which is absurd... Of course, there is no corruption and influence peddling.

There's a bullshit (sic) contract that was signed at the wrong time.


“He was sentenced, he is appealing and the judgment is annulled.


Otherwise, we must judge the code of criminal procedure.

Doesn't this affair risk tarnishing the image of the World Cup in France?

Not at all, in my opinion.

I guess people are sensible.

I remind you that the court pointed out that there had not been a penny of damage caused to the French Rugby Federation.

I remind you that the "ugly" Mr. Altrad, who is condemned like Mr. Laporte, it costs him eight million a year.

And that we have never found an industrialist to take the place of Mr. Altrad, even at half of the payments he makes under sponsorship.

We are anywhere...

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Should a president who is condemned in the first instance not put his mandate at stake?

It's law enforcement.

He was condemned, he appealed and the judgment was annulled.


Otherwise, it is necessary to judge the code of penal procedure.

If the court considered that there was reason for there to be a provisional execution, it would have pronounced it.

And everyone knows that's what everyone was waiting for.

Whether the court was going to follow the prosecutor or not.

He did not follow him.

For you, is this situation tenable?

It's not that it's tenable!

It would be unlikely for it to be otherwise.

Let him (Laporte) take a blood stroke and send everything to hell.

"We made an incredible hype but in the end, we remember that there is no money in this file"

Isn't that counterproductive?

It is unimaginable.

I remind you that the Federation, the court said, suffered no damage.

And, in this case, the court forgets to say that he repaid the 150,000 euros with difficulty because he has been working as a volunteer for the Federation for six years.

And he does not touch a cent from the FFR.

Apart from this untimely contract - in the sense that it was concluded at the wrong time - this file is empty.

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Is this kind of behavior not anachronistic in the current period?

There was a contract that was perfectly valid.

The problem is that from the moment he is president of the Federation, he should not intervene in such and such a way in favor of the Altrad group.

This is what will be examined again by the Paris Court of Appeal.

For you, it was a trial for nothing?

No, it's a painful, abnormal trial... We made an incredible hype about it - even today moreover - but in the end, we remember that there is no money in this case.

The 150,000 euros of Mr. Laporte's contract must be compared to what, a few weeks or months before, Altrad had offered him one million euros a year to be the manager of the Montpellier club.

And that he preferred to be volunteer president of the FFR.

So I expect Mr. Laporte's dishonesty to be demonstrated to me.

Statements collected at the Paris court

Source: lefigaro

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