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September 2007


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MP Fenech’s other face

Which bee stung MP Georges Fenech, President of a new Parliamentary Commission, which has lodged no less than 32 amendments to the law for child protection presently discussed at the Parliament? These amendments are directly issued from the report written by the commission, a report “afflicting and worrying for more than reason” writes Jean-Paul Willaime, sociologist, director of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Réforme, 11-17 January 2007). Tendentious presentation, alarmist figures, fanciful valuations in blatant contradiction with the statistics of the concerned ministries are as many signs of the lack of rigor of the commission which did not hesitate to censor the most disturbing testimonies.

In their final propositions, the Commission presided by Georges Fenech is shooting with red hot cannonballs as well on psychotherapists, home-teaching and new spiritualities as on alternative therapies. Funny amalgams and funny behavior that could cost the President of the Commission several thousands votes of people desirous to preserve fundamental freedoms directly threatened by his repressive and arbitrary propositions.

Indeed, what is really inciting a clique of MPs to so loudly yell “watch out for the wolf” against groups which only common point is their non-conformism concerning the dominating socio-cultural environment?

Recognized guilty of “public racial insults”

Former general substitute at the Court of Appeal of Lyon, Georges Fenech had to pronounce in December 1998 the dissolution of the trade-union he was the president of, the Professional Association of Magistrates (APM) after the publication of words with an anti-Semitic connotation in the trade-union magazine. Alain Terrail, who wrote these pages, former general advocate at the Court of Cassation and President of Honor of the APM will be automatically put to retirement and sentenced to a fine for racial insults. Accused as the director of the publication, Georges Fenech will also be recognized guilty of “racial public insults” but he will be exempted of punishment. After this case Georges Fenech will found a new trade-union he will be the president of, the Independent Trade Union of Magistrates.

At the same time, the magistrate’s reputation is damaged by an other case: Georges Fenech, as the president of the “International Association for Democracy” goes to Gabon, with twelve other French delegates, magistrates and lawyers, to look after the good progress of the presidential elections which took place on 6th December 1998.

This mission, fully financed by the Gabon State, steps in at the initiative of Robert Bourgui, a Paris lawyer and man of influence, who keeps with the Gabon President, Robert Bongo, very narrow connections, and heavy suspicions of partiality on the mission of observation will arise. The report of this French delegation, of which the press will get a copy, concluded very much in favor of the Gabon scrutiny leading to Omar Bongo’s reelection, who has been in power for 31 years.

These two cases will cost Georges Fenech his appointment as First Judge of Investigation in Paris for which he was expected. In a press release published on the 9th of December 1998, the Ministry of Justice will specify that “expressing words with an anti-Semitic connotation in the magazine directed by Mr. Fenech as the President of the APM and the interrogations which arouse, in the eyes of magistracy, his participation to a non official mission of observation of the Gabon presidential elections have convinced the Minister of Justice to withdraw her proposition.”

The gift from the Arms dealer

For the third time in two years, the Lyon magistrate will find himself entangled very touchy case. In December 2000, judges Philippe Courroye and Isabelle Prevost-Deprez investigate the “Angolagate”, a case of illegal arms sales from Eastern European countries to Angola. The two protagonists of this case are the French-Russian go-between Arcadi Gaydamak and his partner within the Brenco Company, Pierre Falcone. A judicial investigation is opened for “illegal trade of weapons, fiscal fraud, breach of trust and influence peddling”. The investigators in peeling off the Brenco account, discovered that in 1997, the magazine of the APM then headed by Georges Fenech had received a transfer of 100.000 francs which would correspond to 25 subscriptions for 2 years!

Georges Fenech, for his defense, declared that he ignored everything about Falcone’s activities. These explanations have not convinced the investigating magistrates. In July 2001, he was be placed under examination for “concealment of misuse of corporate properties” and put under judicial supervision.

A complaint from the structure fighting whitewashing, Tracfin, about Brenco’s financial flows had been filed without consequence in 1997 by a magistrate of the Prosecution of Paris, who is also… a member of the APMM.

The delegation conducted by Georges Fenech to supervise the Gabon elections included a lawyer who is today in charge of the defense of one of the main protagonists of the “Angolagate”.

Zero tolerance? …

Georges Fenech is a fervent defender of the « zero tolerance » concept inspired by the policy of the Mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani. He is even the author of a book with the same title. The principle is simple: no criminal offence should remain unpunished. In January 2002, Georges Fenech’s rival for the investiture of the RPR in the 11th district of the Rhône was surprised and said:”I think that when one is the apostle of tolerance zero, he should first apply the principle to himself.”

Georges Fenech, during his 2001 legislative elections campaign, showed off with singer Jean-Luc Lahaye and former judge Voirain.

In February 2003, Jean-Louis Voirain, vice-prosecutor of Bobigny was placed under examination for “concealment of misappropriation of funds, and corruption” and imprisoned by the judge of freedoms within the frame of the investigation for whitewashing in the Sentier case, judged in the autumn 2002. Two company managers had implicated the magistrate of Bobigny who would have recognized, during his police detention, to have received envelops with cash and various presents. Jean-Louis Voirain was the General Secretary of the APM, the trade union founded by Georges Fenech and he also belonged to the famous mission of observation of the presidential scrutiny in Gabon.

Concerning Jean-Luc Lahaye, he had a bone to pick with justice for his Paris night-club.

A recent letter from a reader published in Lyon Mag dated January 2007 mentions other specific friendship of Georges Fenech: Charles Debbasch, former dean of Lyon III University, condemned for misappropriation of funds and who has fled to Togo. The political correspondent of Georges Fenech in the Mormant canton, Jean-Claude Pfeffer, also from Lyon III, has been placed under examination because he has cashed on his bank account checks intended for the University. And the new parliamentary attaché of the MP is no one else than Jean-Claude Pfeffer’s son.

When one mentions these facts, Georges Fenech yells that this is a socialist conspiration. And he immediately mounts his favorite battle-horse. His parliamentary commission of investigation, from an empty file, has delivered new legislative propositions which drive in a new wedge against fundamental freedoms, such as parents’ right to give their children the religious education of their choice, the possibility left to parents to teach themselves their children compulsory subjects or to have them receive private teaching (in France, instruction is compulsory, schooling is not).

If all this is only a curtain of smoke aiming to protect private interests, this fierceness against freedoms would then take a new meaning.

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