Pierre Botton, founder of the association "Les Prisons du Coeur", in 2013. - AFP
The ex-businessman Pierre Botton, who had been involved in a resounding politico-financial affair of the 1990s, was sentenced on Tuesday to 5 years in prison for the abuse of social property in particular and an arrest warrant has been issued. been pronounced against him.
Pierre Botton, 65, was acquitted for part of the facts but found guilty of breach of trust, misuse of corporate property, forgery and laundering of tax fraud. The Paris court went beyond the requisitions of the prosecution, which had asked for 4 years in prison during the trial in early March. He attached the prison sentence to a fine of 150,000 euros and a final ban on running a company or association.
Suspected of embezzling money
Sentenced on appeal in 1996 for misuse of corporate property, Pierre Botton then spent 20 months in prison. When he left, he decided to found an association to improve conditions of detention and to fight offenders' recidivism.
Following an investigation opened in 2017, however, he again appeared before the courts, suspected of having improperly recovered part of the money of his companies and the association for personal gain. He vigorously proclaimed his innocence.
Pierre Botton "seriously undermined the public, economic and private order of the State of the collection of large sums," said the president of the court. These facts are "all the more intolerable to the social body because they were committed by a person with high media coverage," he added.
Sentenced alongside Patrick Poivre d'Arvor
The former president of the association, Anne-Valérie Noir, ex-wife of Pierre Botton, was partially released but sentenced to 18 months suspended for breach of trust. The prosecution had asked for a year to stay against him.
Young businessman in the 1980s, Pierre Botton was campaign director and son-in-law of Michel Noir, who was RPR minister and mayor of Lyon. He was sentenced for misuse of corporate property in an explosive case alongside Michel Noir, the mayor of Cannes Michel Mouillot and journalist Patrick Poivre d'Arvor in particular.
In the 2000s, the association of Pierre Botton, "Together against recidivism", received the support of large companies and personalities of sport and entertainment. He led a series of projects in prison, becoming an interlocutor of the public authorities.
- Tax fraud