L e photographer François-Marie Banier will not go to jail in the main pane of the Bettencourt affair: four-year suspended prison sentence and € 375,000 fines were indeed pronounced against him Wednesday by the appeal court of Bordeaux in the case of abuse of weakness on the billionaire Liliane Bettencourt.
at first instance, the former confidant of the heiress of L’Oreal was sentenced to three years in prison, six months suspended, fined € 350,000 and over $ 158 million in damages. On appeal, the Advocate General had requested the same sentence, saying it was indeed “exploited” his “friend”, now 93 years old and suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, to satisfy his “Bulimia money. ” The artist’s line of defense 69 years has been to emphasize the friendship of a “woman extremely generous, extremely grateful,” which made him donations (gifts, artwork, insurance contracts -life) amounting to several hundred million euros, to make him her sole heir in 2007 in a will subsequently revoked.
in addition, Martin d’Orgeval, 42 , companion of the photographer and the lawyer Pascal Wilhelm, 55, were also convicted. Patrice Bonduelle, notary, 54, himself has been acquitted in accordance with the requirements.
A sprawling file
of the eight convicted at trial last year (ten trial), only four were retried. Two were acquitted, including former Budget Minister Eric Woerth, another died and settlement agreements were signed by the last with the family of Liliane Bettencourt.
Sprawling folder with multiple drawers, Bettencourt, disoriented in 2010 in Bordeaux, started in late 2007 by a complaint for “abuse of weakness” filed by the only daughter of the billionaire, Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers, the confidant to his mother. The file then turned to the matter of state after the broadcast of clandestine recordings made in the office of Liliane Bettencourt by her butler, Pascal Bonnefoy, that revealed tax evasion of a part of the heritage of the Bettencourt family and suggested political interference from the Elysee in the judicial process. However, the ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy has finally received a dismissal.
Schedule pane for “influence peddling” was closed in May 2015 with the release of Eric Woerth and the fortune of ex-manager of the billionaire, Patrice de Maistre, also convicted of abuse of weakness, but has abandoned his appeal after the transaction with the Bettencourt family.
Two other components, one for “breach of confidentiality” and one for “invasion of privacy of private life” will soon be retried in Bordeaux. Parallèment, Pascal Bonnefoy was indicted in another folder for “undermining the privacy of privacy” at the expense of François-Marie Banier. Finally, in proceedings in Paris after a complaint from the photographer, Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers was indicted on July 7 to “witness tampering” because of a loan of € 300,000 granted to the former accountant of his mother, Claire Thibout, main prosecution witness in the case for “abuse of weakness” and itself under investigation for “false testimony.”