The Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal sentenced Senator Jean-Noël Guérini, former strongman of the Socialist Party of Bouches-du-Rhône, to three years in prison on Wednesday, March 30, including eighteen months suspended and five years of ineligibility for rigging public contracts.
His brother Alexandre, 65, an entrepreneur in the waste sector, was sentenced to six years in prison with a warrant of committal at the hearing. These sentences essentially confirm those pronounced at first instance on May 28, 2021 by the Marseille Criminal Court against the two men.
Sentenced for “illegal taking of interests”, Jean-Noël Guérini, 71, was prosecuted for having taken part in the vote on June 2, 2006 of a deliberation of the general council which he chaired providing for the transfer to the agglomeration community d’Aubagne, a town neighboring Marseille, of land pre-empted two years earlier by the department for the protection of natural areas.
This land was going to make it possible to extend a landfill center for household waste whose brother Alexandre, nicknamed “Monsieur Frère”, for the economic advantages he knew how to derive from the political influence of his elder, had just been entrusted with the exploitation.
“The central element of the Guérini system”
Sentenced for “breach of trust, passive influence peddling and the laundering of a sum of 26 million euros, proceeds from the sale of one of its waste treatment companies” Alexandre Guérini was presented during the two trials as “the central element of the Guérini system”.
He was notably accused of having used his brother’s position to put pressure on elected officials or civil servants in order to circumvent public procurement procedures, enrich himself, eliminate competitors or favor relatives.
In his submissions on appeal, Advocate General Pierre-Jean Gaury denounced the “blatant dishonesty” by Jean-Noël Guérini, who “used his functions for personal gain and contributed to discrediting an institution”. The senator’s defense had demanded his release.