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A former adviser to Nicolas Sarkozy indicted for influence peddling in the Delubac affair



Jean-François Etienne des Rosaies (left), in charge of equestrian and equine issues at the Elysée Palace under the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy, during the laying of the first stone of the equestrian complex in Deauville, June 12, 2009. MYCHELE DANIAU / AFP

Jean-François Etienne des Rosaies has long been a man in the shadows, occupying positions that never appear on the organizational charts. “Mission manager” Within Nicolas Sarkozy’s team at the Elysée, between 2007 and 2010, he was not the subject of any decree of appointment or end of office. During this period, we know of only one official assignment to the “Château”, which concerns the equestrian and equine sector, for which his expertise is recognized.

But since the end of Sarkozy’s five-year term, justice has gradually discovered unknown parts of the Elysian activities of the ex-prefect outside the framework. Already prosecuted in the “Kazakhgate” case, in March 2015, Mr. Etienne des Rosaies was indicted on May 12, 2022 for influence peddling and concealment of breach of trust in a completely different case, according to information from World.

This time, it is not a question of suspicions of international corruption and kickbacks on the sidelines of an arms contract, but of intense lobbying operated from the Elysée for the benefit of Delubac – one of the last family banks. French, whose head office is in Ardèche.

Justice suspects Mr. Etienne des Rosaies of having “multiplied between the months of July 2009 and May 2010 the interventions and requests” within the Presidency of the Republic and with various ministries “in order to obtain a favorable decision” for the bank in the context of its relations with the banking regulatory authority. The dispute concerned the solvency ratio required of the institution in the context of the economic and banking crisis. Very shortly after this episode, the senior official left the Elysée and obtained a seat on the supervisory board of Delubac, where he received more than 500,000 euros in fees between 2010 and 2014.

Did his arrival at the bank and the generous remuneration he received – higher than in some CAC 40 companies – reward the work accomplished by Jean-François Etienne des Rosaies as President of the Republic? It is in any case for this reason that the investigating judge indicted the prefect – after having done the same with the Delubac bank, in March 2022, and its leader, Serge Bialkiewicz, indicted for trafficking in influence in January 2022.

The bank denies any dismissal

Since the beginning of this legal case, the management of Delubac has denied any illegal behavior and rejected the idea of ​​a link between the remuneration of Mr. Etienne des Rosaies and the assistance he could have provided to the bank within the framework of his public duties. But then, how to justify the payment of 500,000 euros? “We wanted to reach the CAC 40 because we were above all a bank for SMEs and mid-cap companiesexplained Serge Bialkiewicz to justice. We therefore hoped that he would introduce us to this environment. » But he admits that it didn’t work: the ex-prefect didn’t “unfortunately nothing concrete”recognized the banker in front of a magistrate who was astonished to say the least, who asked him “why did a bank, which knows better than anyone the price of the value of money, persist in paying more than 500,000 euros to a person who produced nothing, nor contributed anything concrete at the bank “.

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