Last Tuesday at 7 am, never before seen in France, there were more than 100 policemen with bullet proof vests, a dozen of prosecutors, 17 search warrants and more than 20 examinations. Mediascop furthermore wrote (translated from French) :
No, it was not an operation aim to counter terrorism or to arrest gang of drug traffickers but France Public Prosecutor ordered by the Government to head to Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s, his assistants’, former assistants’, members of his political party’s houses and to the La France Insoumise’s campaign services provider Mediascop.
The result of this operation was confiscation of dozens thousands of emails, disks and usb keys, documents and data of members of the party, its supporters and donors which from now on belongs in the hands of the prosecutor very close to the current power in place.
Bastien Parisot, PR and digital strategist of Mediascop wrote in Huffington Post that the operation is “A Staged Political Act”
He thinks that La France Insoumise (LFI) is discredited at the time of Macron government faces a never ending cabinet reshuffle and political crisis. He further add that the timing falls at the right time.
The accusations toward Mélenchon was started by Sophie Montel, representative of FN (Front National) who in July 2017, while FN was investigated for an alleged fictitious employments at European Parlement, accused Mélenchon of the same fictitious employments.
Mediascop which is La France Insoumise’s campaign PR company was accused of over billing the services it provided to Melenchon’s party, La France Insoumise. In its investigation published on Friday yesterday, France Info indicated that Mediascop has billed almost 1.2 million Euros (1.38 million USD), which is 11% of the total campaign budget and that Mediascop employed a dozen members of Melenchon’s staff. Based on BFM TV article, there is no irregularity in the campaign spending amount or in the amount of campaign’s reimbursement.
The problem is not about the normal regular audit of Presidential Election Campaign or the investigation of the alleged fictitious employment but how it was done. Bastion Parisot in his written article argued that the “Staged Political Act” around the situation is rude and inappropriate. “Is the Country in danger? Is it an emergency? Is there a threat to National Security?”
An Act of Political Coup?
Jacky Coulon, National Secretary of the Magistrate Union said that the suspicion of using justice as an “instrument” or tool wouldn’t arise if the independence of the Public Prosecutor is assured in a case that definitely has political aspects.
Emmanuel Macron refused to change the status of the Public Prosecutor to become independent, the decision which was dated last January. The Public Prosecutor or the French Judiciary System is under the authority of le Garde des Sceaux (Keeper of the Seals of France). The title that is held by Minister of Justice.
The decision of the search operation last Tuesday was taken by the Public Prosecutor, thus the suspicion of a pure political coup.
The video of the search warrant at Mélenchon’s house, the leader of LFI party
Engulfed by never ending cabinet reshuffle, political crisis, still weaken by Benalla affair and little devastated comments made by Macron, Macron’s government is going through a very difficult phase, sanctioned by a spectaculary low public opinion towards the incumbent government.
This affair falls at the right time, there is a proverb in English : Kill Two Birds with One Stone. At one side, the public’s attention is distracted by another subject, away from Macron and his government and on another: weaken the opposition party by ruining its image or reputation through its justice’s issues.
Issue of Double Standard?
In comparison with Benalla Affair, Benalla (Macron’s former bodyguard), who was found guilty of violence towards demonstrators at a Social Movement Day, has never experienced any police violence. There was much leeway given to Alexandre Benalla who first refused to give the key to his apartment and the police has to come the next day only with a locksmith. Plus the fact that the appartment has heavy arms existence.
Compare this with hundreds of policemen wearing bullet proof vests, search arrest on dozens of collaborators and old collaborators, absence of verbal process, no justification for documents seizing, seizing of LFI’s office computers and their contents.
It is definite that there is a double standard in the treatment of Melenchon and LFI, something which is disturbing in the name of democracy.