Bernard Laporte and Mohed Altrad were taken into police custody.
Franck PENNANT / AFP
The president of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) Bernard Laporte, was heard Tuesday morning by the financial police, in Paris, in the investigation into his links with the Altrad group, owner of Montpellier and sponsor of the Blues, who poisoned a part of its mandate.
The boss of French rugby, 56, who is seeking a second term on October 3, arrived Tuesday morning for a hearing at the premises of the Brigade for the Repression of Economic Crime (BRDE), to which the national financial prosecutor's office had entrusted the investigations in 2017, corroborating sources told AFP.
In this preliminary investigation, three other people were placed in police custody Tuesday morning in the premises of the Economic Crime Repression Brigade (BRDE), confirmed the PNF.
They are Serge Simon, vice-president of the FFR, Nicolas Hourquet, responsible for international relations of the FFR and Claude Atcher, director general of the organizing committee for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, scheduled for France.
Serge Simon also auditioned
Until then, it was not possible to know whether Laporte was heard in the context of a free hearing or under police custody.
The vice-president of the FFR, Serge Simon, number two on Laporte's list in the next election for the presidency of the Federation, also presented to the BRDE on Tuesday morning, noted an AFP journalist.
In this case, which started three years ago, Laporte is notably suspected of having favored Montpellier Hérault Racing (MHR), by intervening with the FFR appeal committee to soften the sanctions against the club, end June 2017.
The former coach of the Blues (2000-2007) and former Secretary of State for Sports under Nicolas Sarkozy (2007-2009), has always defended himself, even if he admitted to having telephoned the chairman of the committee, Jean-Daniel Simonet.
When Laporte gave up his contract with Altrad
Inspectors general of the Ministry of Sports have also established in a report that the decisions were "modified", between June 29 and 30, 2017, the fine going from 70,000 to 20,000 euros, and the club seeing itself spared the match at huis closed decided first.
Three months earlier, the Altrad group, specializing in building materials, had become the first jersey sponsor of the XV of France, before supporting the French candidacy, ultimately victorious, for the organization of the 2023 World Cup.
By revealing the case in August 2017, the
had also uncovered the existence of an image contract between BL Communication, a company headed by Bernard Laporte, and Altrad Investment Authority, for an amount of 150,000 euros.
Under pressure, the former Toulon manager finally gave up this contract.
The police have already heard from several protagonists in 2019, in particular the three members of the FFR appeal commission.
French rugby federation: Bernard Laporte summoned by the financial police in the Altrad case
Rugby: Fabien Galthié supports Bernard Laporte, candidate for his re-election, by linking his future to his