In this judicial investigation opened after a complaint from the anti-corruption association Anticor in 2017, the former deputy of Finistère (2012-2022) is suspected of having set up a contentious real estate transaction: rental from 2011 by the Mutuelles de Bretagne , of which he was the general manager, of commercial premises purchased by his companion, for an annual rent of 42,000 euros for nine years renewable.

Three Lille investigating judges had indicted Mr. Ferrand in September 2019 for illegal taking of interest, and placed his partner Sandrine Doucen under the more favorable status of assisted witness.

But the investigation chamber of the Douai Court of Appeal issued a judgment in March 2021 noting that the facts had been time-barred since 2014 or 2015: to prosper, the investigations should have started before this date.

Anticor lodged an appeal in cassation, arguing that the offense was “concealed”, which would start the limitation period in 2017, when the Canard enchaîné revealed the case and the Brest prosecutor’s office was seized.

The Court of Cassation examined this appeal on Wednesday.

At the hearing, the Advocate General recommended that the appeal be dismissed, saying that there was no “positive element” tending to show that the couple had “deliberately sought to conceal” their relationship and the terms of their relationship. the operation.

The lawyer of the association, Me Claire Waquet, for her part insisted several times on the sales agreement signed by Richard Ferrand as representative of his partner Sandrine Doucen, at the end of December 2010.

“He will buy the premises on the condition precedent that they be leased by the Mutuelles de Bretagne, without the Mutuelles de Bretagne knowing anything about it, nor the prosecution,” she repeated. “It’s called a cover-up.”

But for the lawyer of the former deputy, Me Emmanuel Piwnica, “the prescription is acquired” and “in any case there was no offense”.

“Everything was known (…) everyone was aware of what was happening, could know what was happening,” he said.

The Advocate General also recommended the dismissal of the appeal filed by the defense of Mr. Ferrand, who claims the nullity of the procedure on the grounds that the Paris court, seized of a complaint by Anticor, did not have jurisdiction to treat it. The case was then moved to Lille.