Three years in prison including 18 months suspended. This is the sentence handed down this Friday, May 28, 2021 in first instance by the Marseille Criminal Court against the senator from Bouches-du-Rhône, re-elected in September 2020, Jean-Noël Guérini. He was on trial, along with his brother Alexandre and a dozen other defendants in a case of rigged public contracts. The former strongman of the department, former president of the General Council, was also sentenced to 30,000 euros in fines and five years of deprivation of civil and civil rights. Jean-Noël Guérini nevertheless avoids prison since he will be able to stay at his home during his sentence by wearing an electronic bracelet.
A deferred deposit warrant has been issued against his brother Alexander, sentenced to six years in prison. Alexandre Guérini will have to present himself to the Baumettes prison. He was further banned from running a business for five years and was deprived of his civil rights during the same period.
“You did not act without the other,” the judge told them, also referring to “serious attacks on public confidence” according to statements reported by the AFP. “They have made clientelism a mode of governance”, had lambasted the prosecution on April 7, quoted by the same source, requiring four years of imprisonment including two firm, 70,000 euros fine and a five-year ineligibility against the elected, 70 years old. Against his brother Alexander the prosecutor had asked for eight years with a warrant of committal and a 500,000 euro fine. “I have always separated the private interests of my brother and the general interest, I have never mixed the genres,” said the senator in comments reported by France 3 at the end of the first week of the trial.
The president of the South Region, Renaud Muselier, who was at the forefront in denouncing the practices of the Guérini brothers reacted in a press release: “Twelve years, three months and 26 days later, the justice has just ruled in first instance in the case of the Guérini brothers. It brings me back twelve years, three months and 26 days, when I was the only one fighting against a patronage and corrupting system, when I was the only one facing those who started it! I call on all Republicans, all Democrats, all tendencies and sensibilities, to remember those years of Marseille lead. I invite everyone to read the “Guérini System”, a book I wrote in 2011 and which traces the entire affair. History will prove me right! But it also showed me how difficult it is, on such matters to be right before others. Today, this fight against corruption and for probity in politics continues. I will continue, for my part and in the skills that are mine, to lead it with all my determination. “
Useful links:> Guérini trial: four years required against Jean-Noël, eight against Alexandre> Guérini trial: the two brothers facing the Marseille Criminal Court