a Few months after his re-election in Béziers (Hérault), Robert Ménard is the subject of a preliminary investigation. It has been open to suspicions of corruption around the municipal official and a real estate developer, said on Wednesday the Agence France-Presse the prosecutor of Marseilles, a suspicion refuted by the elected, and the company.
This preliminary investigation has been opened by the public prosecutor of the court interregional specialized (Jirs) of Marseille for bribery and abuse of social goods around the mayor of the far-right of Béziers and the real estate developer Socri Reim, according to an information of the Canard enchaîné confirmed to Agence France-Presse by the prosecutor of Marseille, Dominique Laurens. According to the newspaper, the investigations were launched in may 2019 on two operations of the communication of the mayor of Béziers, close to the national Gathering and re-elected in the first ballot in the last municipal elections.
The " false accusations ", according to Robert Ménard
In 2017, Socri Reim would have paid 25 656 euros for a meeting of the elected and funded a clip and a plate in favour of the town hall, with the slogan " Béziers 2030, we announce to you the future ". The promoter would have also invested 23 500 euros in 2018 in a website project city that has not seen the light of day, according to the Duck. Meanwhile, in 2017, Socri Reim has obtained land to build a hotel complex in the neighbourhood of the Hours in Béziers, provides the weekly.
" The only building ever realized by the group in Béziers was that of the Polygon. A shopping centre open... in 2010, before the election of Robert Ménard, "replied the elected official in a statement sent to Agence France-Presse, citing "false accusations" or "insinuations" and " approximations ", and ensuring that he was never informed of the initiation of this investigation.
" In these conditions, where is the "corruption" ? "
" In fact "gifts" as the Canard enchaîné believes to unpack, so we have a brochure to attract potential investors paid (and therefore used) by the city, a clip of a commercial on Béziers and its surroundings carried out by a company that wants to promote the territory in which it operates and, ultimately, a failed website. We repeat : there is no “gift” to the horizon. In these conditions, where is the "corruption" ? " insisted Robert Ménard.
For its part, the group Socri Reim also " denies all charges ". "In Béziers, as elsewhere, all operations of the company have been, are and will be conducted in a transparent manner, with the highest standards of integrity and ethics," said the Agency France-Presse the company directed by Nicolas Chambon. "Operating in many territories, the group systematically conducts, as economic actor, the operations of promotion of cities and their territories, aiming to develop the attractiveness of its activities and of its assets, in the interest of the company," he also added.