Mohed Altrad’s lawyer, Maître Antoine Vey, spoke about the approach to the Laporte-Altrad trial which starts this Wednesday, September 7.
Who is Antoine Vey?
With Antoine Vey (38) as a lawyer, Mohed Altrad has chosen an upscale specialist in criminal cases. He is now considered a “tenor” of the Parisian bar. His reputation is linked to his association for many years with Eric Dupond-Moretti, current Minister of Justice. “I had a master-student relationship, but that stopped. Now we have a partner-to-partner relationship,” said Vey before Dupond-Moretti became Minister of Justice.
You will be able to defend yourself after more than four years of waiting. Did you find the time long?
This long wait is not in line with the time this case takes and the time we still intend to devote to it. We’re going to spend a month discussing stuff that isn’t that hard to understand when you want to understand it the right way. But hey, it will allow everyone to explain themselves and go into detail, that’s good. Especially when you feel the accusation is not justified. In addition, there are sporting, corporate and reputation deadlines that are impacted, so it’s quite unpleasant.
Is outrage your line of defense?
No. Our defense is factual, technical, which aims to explain that there has never been an arrangement between Bernard Laporte and Mohed Altrad. Mr. Laporte has never performed any actions that are potentially harmful to anyone. On the contrary, he rather enriched the Federation and carried out operations which are favorable to him. And that neither in the behavior of one, nor in the behavior of the other, there are inequalities. A priori, they do not have much to do before a criminal court.
There is still a conflict between the FFR and the LNR. In this context, the League wanted to create a kind of incident
However, this is not what we understand in the revealed investigations…
The source of the case is known and that’s why it’s dated. There is still a conflict between the FFR and the LNR. In this context, the League wanted to create a kind of incident. The latter were sent into the corridors of the PNF, who made a deal of it. This does not mean that there is much in the file.
But these stories of phone calls then?
Already, the phone call, there is no element that traces its content. And even more, the people interviewed remind us that it is not a phone call that aims to influence a decision or put pressure, it is a phone call like there is every day at the Federation. I would be surprised if the National Rugby League did not make a phone call to inquire about the meaning of a deliberation or to convey contextual messages, but which do not call into question either the independence or the decision .
Moreover, on this phone call to which you refer, we are on derisory sanctions (70,000 €, a suspension match at GGL Stadium). It is hard to see why Mohed Altrad would have fun corrupting Bernard Laporte for such small stakes.
What risks does your client run?
Bah none, he will be relaxed. Today, I do not know what he risks since we are on a file that does not hold water. I can’t give you the amounts… I don’t know, I don’t know what the prosecution is going to ask. I hope that at the end of the hearing, he will not ask anything because the file is not solid.
Mohed Altrad will be there, he is calm and he is keen to provide the court with the elements that will allow him to be exonerated.
What exactly is he accused of?
Heads of prevention are qualifications retained by the Public Prosecutor’s Office. It makes foam, that’s why we talk about it. What he is essentially accused of is having offered Bernard Laporte a contract around which Laporte was asked to hold communication events, seminars in the Altrad group. Nothing illegal.
In what state of mind is your client? Will he be present?
Yes he will be there, he is calm and he is keen to bring to court the elements that will allow him to be exonerated.
Is there apprehension about the club’s image, potential degradation?
Not at all, he is combative. But not even actually. This is a very special case since it has never given rise to an adversarial argument. This is an investigation that was referred directly to the court. He was heard once but on elements where we did not have the file and in a certain context. In my opinion, both on the side of Altrad and the others, there are many elements to be put forward. In fact, they are quite happy to be able to explain themselves.