Me André Buffard, lawyer for Gilles Artigues, explained on our antenna why his client took several years before deciding to file a complaint.
Eight years. Eight years separates the beginning of a blackmail and the filing of a complaint. That of a former first deputy mayor of Saint-Étienne. Gilles Artigues took legal action after being blackmailed by the sextape orchestrated by several elected officials from the town hall.
“The complaint arrived late, but Gilles Artigues suffered from the ‘raped girl syndrome’, which would reveal the facts a few years later, who sometimes rubbed shoulders with the person who had committed this crime on her and who was told ‘but why are you talking about it five or ten years later?'”, explains his lawyer on Tuesday on our antenna.
For Me André Buffard, his client “was under the influence”. “He couldn’t speak, he didn’t dare to speak, he had no chance of being believed […] It was from the moment he understood the extent of the machination of which he was the victim and that it could be demonstrated that he agreed to explain himself, “he adds.
The mayor aware of the blackmail?
A “kompromat” kept secret until the recent revelations of Mediapart, which also unveiled audio recordings on Tuesday revealing that the mayor of Saint-Étienne Gaël Perdriau was aware of this affair.
An investigation for “invasion of privacy, aggravated blackmail, embezzlement of public property by a person in charge of a public function, breach of trust and concealment of these offenses” was opened last week by the prosecution of Lyon and a search was carried out on Monday at the town hall of Saint-Étienne.
Me Christophe Ingrain, lawyer for Gaël Pedriau, affirms this Tuesday evening at BFMTV that the mayor of Saint-Étienne denies any involvement in the case. He maintains that he never took part in any blackmail but had only heard a rumor about the existence of this video, rumors to which he had then never paid attention.