Accused in a Mediapart article of spending their holidays in Corsica in a villa belonging to the companion of a drug dealer, Sébastien Lecornu and Gérald Darmanin, two members of the Macron government, decided to file a complaint on Wednesday for defamation.
Corsica, which rhymes with idleness during the holidays, becomes a headache for the services in charge of the safety of the personalities who each summer arrive en masse on the island. In August and as in previous years, many politicians have taken up residence there. Part of the Macron government has notably taken up residence, responding to the instructions given by Édouard Philippe to be immediately available when needed. Two of them, Sébastien Lecornu, Secretary of State for the Minister of the Ecological and Solidarity Transition and Gérald Darmanin, Minister of Action and Public Accounts, decided to stay together in a villa in Paris. about thirty kilometers from Ajaccio.
In collaboration with the services of the Prefecture of Corsica, the police officers of the Protection Service (SDLP) who have a specific antenna on the island, have looked at the resort chosen and indicated by them. "And there was nothing to say," says Romain Delmon, the cabinet director of the prefecture. The villa - a nice, comfortable house without excessive luxury - and its owner, have not given rise to a special cautionary note by the local authorities.
But the management of the case of these two political leaders, surprised more than one in the security community. The name of the owner of the place is associated with that of Gilbert Casanova as indicated by Médiapart. This former nationalist activist, who was also former president of the chamber of commerce and industry of Corse-du-Sud, was sentenced in particular in a case of international drug trafficking in 2010 to eight years in prison.
If only to avoid associating the names of the two young ministers with those of people who had trouble with the law, it would have been necessary, for some specialists, to find them another place of resort. According to these, various alerts would have been made until Matignon remains a dead letter.
"This woman is no longer the companion of Gilbert Casanova," says the prefecture
But for the prefecture of Corsica, this name that resurfaces on the occasion of this short lease is history. "This woman is no longer the companion of Gilbert Casanova and there is nothing to blame him," says Romain Delmon. "My client paid his dues to the company and it is necessary to know how to make a clean sweep of the past," says Pascal Garbarini, the advice of Gilbert Casanova, recalling that the latter has always denied the facts. "Moreover, we are considering a request for review of his trial."
This whole case illustrates the difficulty of judging the right moment to trigger a cautionary note. "We are in a state of law and we can not burden one person with the misdeeds committed by others," he defended to the prefecture. And if it were necessary to take into account an even old entourage to ban places, the exercise would be very complicated in Corsica. "There are 324,000 people there. This is little. So it's hard to find a family that has not had a member or relative involved in a case, "says one observer. According to our information, places for which warnings were given were nevertheless attended in the past by personalities.
"We did not meet the owner or his former companion," says Gérald Darmanin
This is not the first time that holiday periods are held against the backdrop of controversy of this kind. Regularly summer brings a lot of similar cases, especially in Corsica. Thus, in August 2015 the field of Murtoli, holiday resort where Nicolas Sarkozy had spent his holidays was no longer just a heavenly place. It had become an interesting address justice. In the middle of August, the press had reported that Tracfin, the body of Bercy charged with fighting dirty money, had seized the Paris prosecutor's office of possible suspicious fund movements related to the scene. Information that, it seems, did not follow up.
For now, Sébastien Lecornu and Gérald Darmanin really did not think to draw attention to them by choosing this address. "We are friends and I grafted at the last moment to Sebastien's stay. He joined himself to relatives, a couple, who had recommended this villa and everyone paid his share, "says Gerald Darmanin. Arrived last August 13th by a flight in the late afternoon, they were welcomed by this couple already there for a week. "We did not meet the owner or his former companion," says the minister. And to add that this stay had been reported to the security service. "We have not received any warning," he says adding, "We are here to read and rest for a few days." Their tranquility has been somewhat disturbed.