The mayor of Saint-Étienne, Gaël Perdriau (ex-LR) announced on Monday that he did not plan to broadcast if he was indicted as part of the judicial inquiry into the singing affair at the intimate video open since the end of August. “An indicted person is always presumed innocent and therefore if this status were to arrive, it would change absolutely nothing in the way I have today of carrying out the work that the Stéphanois have designated for me”, he declared in city council, in response to a question from the opposition.
“If tomorrow or in a few months, you are indicted, what will you do?” asked the leader of the left-wing municipal opposition, Pierrick Courbon, accusing him of “continuing to run the city as if nothing was” and “playing the rotting card”.
Gaël Perdriau still proclaims his innocence
“Don’t trust what you see or what you hear. Wait to know the story in its entirety before passing judgment,” retorted the mayor. He was expelled from the Republicans after a series of Revelations from Mediapart on a sextape song aimed at his former centrist first deputy Gilles Artigues. Named accused by the latter, placed in police custody in mid-September, quoted in damning audio recordings published by Mediapart, Gaël Perdriau has always protested his innocence.
The scandal, however, prompted him to dismiss his chief of staff and then to give up his duties as representatives of the city and the Metropolis of Saint-Étienne, while the appointed municipal deputy accused of having shot the compromising images of was broadcasting.
Statements made in private
On Monday, Gaël Perdriau also had to justify his legal action to block the publication of new revelations by Mediapart, which the news site considered to be “prior censorship” which he is challenging in court. “How can you agree to associate Saint-Étienne with such infamy? asked Olivier Longeon, president of the environmental group. The mayor claimed that these were “new accusations based on private conversations, excessive language, anger”, based on “illegal recordings” made by his former first deputy.
He acknowledged comments “crude and baseless but made in the private and restricted setting of my office, in a moment of extreme tension with my first deputy”, in this recording from November 2017. “Do not associate with the scavengers who wants to bring me down”, he launched, referring to an “odious and unhealthy” affair linked according to him by his positions within his party. “I think that as long as these people have not had my skin, they will continue to slander me”, insisted Gaël Perdriau while a hundred demonstrators gathered in front of the town hall at the call of a collective of left asked for its diffusion.