New episode in the case of surveys of the Elysee made during the five year term of Nicolas Sarkozy. The institute Ipsos opinion polls was indicted Thursday for harboring favoritism. Three other institutes Opinionway, Ifop and TNS-Sofres had been placed in recent weeks as the intermediate status of assisted witness, which allows them at this stage to hope to escape a referral process.
Triggered by Anticor a complaint from the association, after a scathing report of the Court of Auditors in 2009, the survey covers several aspects, including on contracts without competitive bidding between the Elysee and various institutes. In this context, Ipsos, led by adviser to Nicolas Sarkozy Pierre Giacometti until early 2008, is regarded by investigators as “the institute par excellence of the Elysee, in volume and value, since he charged close 1.5 million euros before tax between May 2007 and October 2009, 92% of the total amount “ordered polls, according to a source familiar with the matter. Current Ipsos officials did not comment.
Elysee side, the investigating judge indicted for favoritism its former general secretary, Claude Guéant, the former cabinet director Emmanuelle cute and two former advisers Vaulpré Julien and Jean-Michel Goudard. The survey also covers the contracts between the Elysee and the Giacometti-Peron company after the departure of Pierre Giacometti, Ipsos and with Law (Publifact, Publiopinion) of the influential adviser to Nicolas Sarkozy, Patrick Buisson. The agreement signed in 2007 by Patrick Buisson with the Elysee provided a share of paid council 10,000 euros per month and granted the other Publifact to “the conduct of surveys”, at its discretion and with institutes of their choice.
7.5 million euros in polls
in the end, investigators found traces of 235 surveys purchased by the firm of Patrick Buisson and sold to the Presidency between 2007 and 2009, with a profit of about 1.4 million euros, 65% to 70%. The judge was indicted for receiving stolen favoritism, but also the diversion of public funds. Some of resold polls had already been reported in the press.
According to the survey, the Elysee has paid about 7.5 million euros in surveys and advice during the five year period 2007-2012. Pierre Giacometti and Patrick Buisson requested the nullity of their indictment. The investigating chamber of the Appeal Court of Paris will particularly address the requirement to go through the bidding for the presidency of the Republic in policy advice. A matter which depends in part the result of the case.