A firm year required against Bernard Laporte: “It’s a witchcraft trial”, judge Henri Mondino

If football has its marabouts, rugby has its “witchcraft trial”. This is at least the term used by Henri Mondino, member of the steering committee of the Ligue de Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur rugby and vice-president of the French rugby federation (FFR), to describe the prosecution’s indictment. National Finance against Bernard Laporte. As well as four other figures of the oval ball, prosecuted for influence peddling, corruption, illegal taking of interest or even abuse of social good.

Three years in prison, two of which were suspended, were required on Tuesday September 20, before the defense requested release on Wednesday 21, against the current president of the French Rugby Federation. Ditto against the billionaire Mohed Altrad, president of the Montpellier Hérault Rugby Club. Enough to surprise the oval planet.

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To start with Mourad Boudjellal, but also Henri Mondino, very close to Bernard Laporte, who was present during the indictment. “We witnessed the destruction of a man and his family, he laments. It was such a violent game. I have heard horrible things. Listening to the prosecutors, I felt bad for Bernard, for my country, for justice. Everything that has been said is far from reality. It’s even surreal. Or else it is to misunderstand the sporting world.”

Central point of the file: Bernard Laporte would have favored the Montpellier club because of the business ties he has with its president Mohed Altrad, also sponsor of the French rugby team. Everything starts from the contract signed in February 2017, then abandoned in the face of the outcry that such a market triggered, between Bernard Laporte and Mohed Altrad. The deal provided for interventions with the managers of the Altrad group in exchange for a check for 180,000 euros.

“He recognized it was a fundamental mistake and returned the money, pleads Mondino. It deserves a legal reminder, no more. All this makes me sad. We have the impression that we are talking about an obscure montage of a gathering of criminals, the collusion of power, money and politics. We’re light years away from that.” He insists: “No, there were no arrangements between friends. On the other hand, there is a sling against Bernard. Some even compare the Fed to a sect of which he is the guru. All that because we refused the merger of Stade Français and Racing 92?

Laporte affected, but not sunk

This size of French rugby was able to exchange with Bernard Laporte after the indictment of the PNF. “He was affected to have heard so much violence, he reports. I wonder how he holds up. He’s someone who stays high.”

For the defense of the president of the FFR, this relative also evokes “the intricacies of the position“that Bernard Laporte does”didn’t know before”. “Since that story, we’ve been working with lawyers, says Henri Mondino. Except that we are faced with immobility. It’s getting harder and harder to move the lines. It questions how to manage the associative world. What I know is that there would have been no World Cup in France in 2023 if it hadn’t been for Bernard Laporte.”

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A firm year required against Bernard Laporte: “It’s a witchcraft trial”, judge Henri Mondino

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