Judge drags Jean-Claude Juncker into scandal over wiretapping

EC president’s former staff face criminal inquiry

Bruno Waterfield, Brussels

December 13 2017, 12:01am, The Times

 

The president of the European Commission is embroiled in a new criminal investigation into claims that “tampered” evidence misled an inquiry into phone-tapping.

Jean-Claude Juncker faces accusations that his officials presented inaccurate information under oath in a case involving an alleged illegal wiretap more than ten years ago when he was prime minister of Luxembourg.

The Times has learnt that last week, as Mr Juncker met Theresa May for Brexit talks in Brussels, a Luxembourg judge opened a criminal inquiry into whether officials working for Mr Juncker were responsible for an incomplete transcript of a covertly recorded conversation, which may have disguised his alleged role in phone-tapping.

The inquiry means that Mr Juncker, 63, risks being caught up in a scandal that threatens his reputation at a critical time for the EU. Marco Mille, former director of the Luxembourg intelligence service, who is on trial for illegal phone-tapping, said: “The falsification of evidence and the deliberate deception of parliament, the judiciary and, ultimately, the public are an unbearable attack on the rule of law.”

Last Monday Eric Schammo, an investigating judge, began an inquiry into whether officials working for Mr Juncker falsified key evidence for a parliamentary and then judicial investigation in 2012 and 2013. At the time Mr Juncker was fighting for his political future over a wider scandal including the activities of his country’s spies. He had vociferously denied involvement in their activities, especially wiretapping.

At the centre of the allegations is the transcript of a conversation, taped on a recorder disguised as a wristwatch, between Mr Mille and Mr Juncker in January 2007. It is a central piece of evidence in the criminal case brought against three former intelligence officials, including Mr Mille, over telephone eavesdropping on Loris Mariotto, who was making bizarre claims linking the family of Luxembourg’s Grand Duke to terrorist attacks in the 1980s.

The version of the transcript used in the parliamentary investigation, resulting in criminal charges against the three men, omits words that might indicate that Mr Juncker had authorised the wiretap on Mr Mariotto.

In one version, presented to a parliamentary scrutiny meeting in 2012, elements of the conversation were omitted. In another version, now accepted as complete, Mr Juncker replied on two occasions with “yes” or the affirmative “mhm” — interpreted by investigators as meaning that he understood and agreed with what Mr Mille was saying — when the former spy chief reported to him on a lack of progress after two days of phone- tapping and his potential problem explaining the interceptions to judges.

At one point, in words that were omitted from evidence to the 2012 and 2013 investigations, Mr Juncker says “we were listening”, indicating that he knew about the phone-tapping. As prime minister, Mr Juncker could have given permission for the phone taps but denied doing so. The changes to the transcript used as evidence in the investigation leading to criminal charges against the three men were discovered when thousands of files of prosecution documents were given to the defence last month.

Mr Mille, former director of the Service de Renseignement de l’État Luxembourgeois (SREL) , and now head of security at the German electrical giant Siemens, described the omissions as a “scandalous manipulation”. His complaint of “falsification” by persons unknown in the government led to a criminal investigation being opened on December 4. “It is not known to us who arranged for the ‘falsification’. It is not insignificant answering this question to ask who benefited from it,” he said.

His trial was suspended on November 21 after Mr Juncker told the Luxembourg court he would be unable to face cross-examination as a witness. The trial was postponed on same day that Mr Mille lodged a criminal complaint over omissions in the transcript.

Mr Juncker, under oath as a witness in the now postponed trial, told Ernest Nilles, the investigating magistrate, in May 2015 that “there was definitely no permission for a full phone-tapping operation”. The judge confronted Mr Juncker with the unaltered transcript, which no one had noticed was different from the one used in the 2012-13 inquiry, and said: “The conversation is clearly about a phone-tapping operation over a period of two days.” Mr Juncker denied it and said he had “the impression of a great deal of confusion” from the words used.

According to the judicial witness examination report, Mr Juncker said he could not recall phone conversations with his intelligence chief during which Mr Mille says he authorised an “urgent procedure” wiretap. The European Commission would not discuss “alleged comments or alleged documents”.

Frank Schneider, the former head of SREL operations and a defendant in the trial, expressed anger over Mr Juncker’s absence from a hearing scheduled for Tuesday last week, leading to the suspension of proceedings. “One would think that Juncker would take this seriously. It is, after all, something that caused him to resign his government in 2013 requiring early elections,” he said. “I am certain that if Juncker can come to Luxembourg to speak to students . . . about the future of Europe as he did in October this year, he could have found two hours during one of the eight proposed dates . . . to attend court.”

A commission spokesman said: “He is very willing to testify as a witness but it happens that he is also president of the EC, so we have to find a date that matches his institutional obligations.”

 

Réponse à l’IFOP

Bernard Owen

Nous nous permettons de répondre à votre intitulé (ELABE-L’Express, sondage publié le 29/2017) « méthodologie ». Nous n’avons nullement critiqué vos méthodes de travail. Notre texte était politique et non technique.

Il s’agissait de ne pas interroger la France sur son opinion concernant notre Président, qui parait, mois après mois, plus mauvaise mais d’interroger l’opinion sur la personne qui pourrait être opposé à notre Président en raison de l’acharnement de la justice sur la personne appréciée au delà de nos frontières, François Fillon.

 

Un mot sur Soros

 

François Fillon au Trocadéro: La foule malgré l’acharnement des magistrats

Cet article nous été envoyé par un collègue belge, l’ex sénateur Pierre Scharff.

Quel est le rôle de la fondation George Soros au sein des institutions européennes?

Drieu Godefridi, PhD (Sorbonne), juriste et auteur OPINION

19/11/17 à 10:44 – Mise à jour à 17/11/17 à 16:46

Le moment est venu de faire la lumière sur la nature et l’ampleur de la collaboration de la gauche européenne avec le lobby fondé

En effet, la fondation « Open Society » vient de recevoir, de l’intéressé, un don du montant faramineux de 18 milliards de dollars. 18 milliards !

Après tout, pourquoi pas, n’est-ce pas le privilège de la richesse que de servir ses propres idées, et la fondation de M. Soros ne se prévaut-elle pas des nobles idéaux de démocratie et d’ouverture chers au grand philosophe Karl Popper, sans doute le plus grand épistémologue de tous les temps ? L’expression de « Open Society » lui est directement empruntée et G. Soros se revendique expressément de Popper.

Le détournement est manifeste. Popper définissait la société ouverte comme celle dans laquelle les individus ont la possibilité d’agir selon leurs propres décisions, et la société fermée comme celle où l’individu est soumis au caprice de la collectivité. La démocratie paraissait à Popper le seul régime permettant de changer de dirigeant sans effusion de sang, raison pour laquelle ce régime avait sa prédilection.

Soros ne reprend nullement cette distinction. Ainsi définit-il la société ouverte comme celle dont les gouvernants prennent soin des intérêts des électeurs, et la société fermée comme celle où les gouvernants servent leurs propres intérêts.

Outre qu’elle paraît bien naïve — même l’homme/la femme d’Etat le/la plus dévoué(e) à l’intérêt général prend généralement soin de ses propres intérêts, qui pourrait le lui reprocher ? — cette distinction est surtout radicalement étrangère, on le constate, à l’oeuvre de Popper.

Sur la foi de cette définition vague qui trahit celui dont elle se revendique — car c’est bien la liberté individuelle et démocratique dont se souciait Popper, contre tous les totalitarismes — Soros catégorise comme « fermées » toutes sociétés qui adoptent des politiques qui ne sont pas de son goût.

Ainsi M. Soros taxe-t-il de « fermées » les sociétés occidentales car elles sont, selon lui, par trop « inégalitaires » et pas assez « redistributrices » des richesses. Que l’heureux propriétaire d’une fortune de plusieurs dizaines de milliards de dollars, bâtie sur la spéculation non seulement boursière, mais purement monétaire, déplore les inégalités, peut faire sourire. Surtout, c’est un jugement qui méconnaît le fait que jamais, dans l’histoire occidentale, les classes moyennes n’ont été aussi taxées et imposées, de mille manières, qu’elles ne le sont aujourd’hui.

Rappelons que jusqu’il y a un siècle, le taux de taxation considéré comme normal, en Occident, était de l’ordre de 10%. Il est de nos jours quatre à cinq fois plus élevé. Certes, de par leur mobilité géographique et juridique, les Soros de notre monde échappent souvent à ces taux confiscatoires. Mais frapper davantage encore les classes moyennes ne rendra pas nos sociétés moins inégalitaires. Surtout, vouloir socialiser et collectiviser toujours davantage aboutit à l’exacte négation de la société ouverte selon Popper, celle dans laquelle les individus conservent la maîtrise de leur destin en dehors des désirs et de la toute-puissance de l’Etat.

Autre exemple : l’immigration. M. Soros considère qu’il est souhaitable que l’Europe et les Etats-Unis accueillent chaque année un grand nombre de réfugiés, économiques ou politiques, en provenance du reste du monde. Sa fondation et lui ne sont pas étrangers à la propagation et au succès de cette idéologie dans la gauche occidentale depuis une trentaine d’année. M. Soros considère toute société s’opposant à cette idéologie comme fermée, hostile et autoritaire; ainsi des pays d’Europe centrale, qui souhaitent en effet conserver la maîtrise de leurs frontières. Mais qui ne voit que là encore M. Soros fait violence aux mots ? En quoi serait anti-démocratique et contraire à la liberté le fait que des peuples se prononcent, massivement et de façon répétée, dans des scrutins dont la validité n’est contestée par personne, pour une immigration contrôlée et la maîtrise de leurs frontières ? N’y aurait-il de « vraie » démocratie que lorsque les urnes votent pour les idées, souvent extrêmes, qui ont la faveur de M. Soros ?

Et puis, il y a la manière. Confortablement installé sur l’impunité de sa fortune, M. Soros publiait récemment un répertoire des « amis fiables » (reliable allies) de MailScanner soupçonne le lien suivant d’être une tentative de fraude de la part de « legacy.gscdn.nl » sa fondation au sein du Parlement européen, comprenant pas moins de 226 noms !Deux cent vingt-six parlementaires européens sont officiellement considérés comme des alliés fidèles de l’opulente fondation de M. Soros !

En ces temps d’appels à la transparence, ne serait-il pas opportun d’interroger chacun de ces parlementaires sur la nature de leurs liens avec l’Open Society, ce qui leur vaut le beau label d’ « ami fiable » ? Plus précisément, ne serait-il pas opportun de les interroger :

1) sur le fait de savoir s’ils ont jamais reçu, directement ou indirectement, des fonds de l’Open Society ou d’un autre des nombreux véhicules de la galaxie Soros ? et

2) s’ils ont assisté ou participé à des événements organisés par les précédents, si oui lesquels, où, quand et avec quels fonds ?

Jamais dans l’histoire européenne, un lobby n’avait disposé d’une puissance de frappe financière comparable à l’Open Society. Les définitions les plus élémentaires de la démocratie et de la société ouverte au sens de Karl Popper exigent que la lumière soit faite sur la nature des « alliances » européennes de M. Soros.

 

http://www.levif.be/actualite/international/quel-est-le-role-de-la-fondation-george-soros-au-sein-des-institutions-europeennes/article-opinion-756813.html?utm_source=Newsletter-19/11/2017&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Newsletter-RNBDAGLV&&M_BT=2742939898308

 

 

Selon Le Canard, Hidalgo a bénéficié d’une double rémunération à hauteur de 116.000 euros

Paris la ville éternelle: Anne Hidalgo et son mari  

Par  Pierre Lepelletier , Le Monde,  Publié le 08/11/2017 à 11:37

LE SCAN POLITIQUE – L’hebdomadaire révèle que la maire de Paris Hidalgo a perçu entre 2001 et 2002 l’intégralité de son traitement de directrice du Travail. Problème : elle n’assurait qu’une partie minime de sa fonction.

Fin octobre, Anne Hidalgo avait été épinglée par Capital qui l’accusait d’avoir bénéficié d’un emploi fictif au ministère du Travail entre 2001 et 2002. Une période pendant laquelle elle siégeait aussi comme première adjointe à la mairie de Paris. Face à ces accusations, Anne Hidalgo a porté plainte pour diffamation. «Ce que je refuse, c’est la falsification des faits à des fins politiques», a-t-elle souligné dans une publication sur sa page Facebook mardi.

Hidalgo aurait demandé une réduction de sa rémunération

Mais Anne Hidalgo se retrouve également dans le viseur du Canard Enchaîné. L’hebdomadaire satirique affirme mercredi qu’elle percevait à la fois son indemnité d’élue à la mairie de Paris et en même temps l’intégralité de son traitement de directrice du Travail. Pourtant, celle qui est aujourd’hui maire de Paris n’assurait qu’une partie minime de la fonction, assure Le Canard. Pour répondre à cette ambiguïté, la mairie de Paris a assuré au journal que le contrôleur financier du ministère du Travail avait «refusé la demande d’Anne Hidalgo de réduire sa rémunération en proportion de son temps de travail.» Aucune trace écrite de cette requête n’a toutefois été conservée.

Anne Hidalgo «pensait qu’elle pourrait faire les deux fonctions mais elle a vu que c’était impossible, et elle a décidé de laisser tomber», justifie aujourd’hui la mairie de Paris au Canard. Une phase de réflexion qui a duré plus de vingt mois et permis à Anne Hidalgo de percevoir 116.000 euros brut grâce à sa fonction de directrice du Travail et de primes de conseillère de cabinet.

Les problèmes juridiques potentiels de Hillary pendant les primaires.

Quoique qu’on en dise le monde n’est pas parfait. Voyons ailleurs. L’article qui suit concerne les déboires politico/juridiques de Hillary Clinton lors des primaires démocrates.

Finalement, il était plutôt une question d’acharnement politique sans base juridique et donc le FBI n’a pas trouvé assez de des preuves pour qu’un procureur fédéral puisse inculper Hillary.

Au Congrès, le Parti Républicain s’était véritablement acharné sur Hillary mais qui a eu le dernier mot? Les électeurs.

Ci-dessous un texte sur ce qu’on a appelé l’ « Emailgate ».

Bernard Owen

 Clinton Probably Won’t Be Indicted, But  Here Are The ‘What If’ Scenarios

by Elura Nanos | 12:41 pm, June 1st, 2016

I have long said that Emailgate is one of the most boring, least effectual “scandals” ever. That’s not to say that Secretary Clinton handled her classified information properly, or even that she complied with the law. But on the scale of Dolores Landingham to Bernie Madoff, I feel like the email thing is much closer to the “I know it’s technically a violation of the law, but who really cares” end of the spectrum. Private servers aside, Clinton is still undeniably qualified, skilled, and smart enough to be an effective president. She’d still support an excellent legislative agenda, appoint the right Supreme Court justices, and favorably represent our country on the world stage. And if she becomes the Democratic nominee, there’s no question that I’d vote for her over Donald Trump. But this email thing just isn’t going away. So, in the interest of keeping our collective heads out of the sand, it’s a good idea to look ahead and plan for the worst. If Clinton were to be indicted, the impact on the 2016 presidential election would depend largely on when such an indictment were handed down.

The four possibilities are:

Before the primaries end.  If Clinton were to be indicted before the end of primary season, we’d likely see her engage in a game of political chicken. Because an indictment (and frankly, even a conviction) wouldn’t automaticallydisqualify her from continuing to seek election, Clinton would probably stay in the race until the consequences of any criminal charges became clearer. If she felt that a looming prosecution necessitated her withdrawal from the race, Clinton could take herself off the primary ballot; this would allow her delegates the freedom to support a candidate of their choosing. Bernie Sanders would likely remain on the primary ballots for the states yet to conduct their primaries, and he would try to persuade as many former Hillary delegates to support him. Once everyone arrived at the Democratic National Convention (DNC), though, other candidates would join the fray and delegates would scatter in every direction.

After the primaries end, but before the convention. If the Democratic party were to arrive at the DNC in the unprecedented position of having enough pledged delegates to nominate Hillary Clinton, but with no Hillary Clinton available for them to nominate, the convention would become “brokered.” Cue Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Cuomo, Joe Biden, and John Kerry. President Obama would probably issue some sort of call-to-action on behalf of the Democratic Party, and after much frenzy and fanfare, we’d get a new Democratic nominee. That person, by virtue purely of the fact that he or she is neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump, would probably emerge as a quick crowd favorite, become the next president, and pardon Hillary Clinton before even entering the Oval Office.

After the convention, but before the election.  If Clinton were to become the Democratic nominee only then to find that an indictment threatened her short road to the White House, the outcome would be largely the same as it would be in the above scenario. She would likely drop out of the race, which would cause an immediate vacancy on the Democratic ticket. The difference in this scenario, though, would be that after the Convention, Clinton would have already declared a running mate. That person might slip effortlessly into Clinton’s shoes – or might face some sort of compressed convention-type process.  Of course, there’s also the possibility that the Secretary would boldly test the loyalty of her supporters and continue her run; such a move would be risky, but given recent polling, still might work to elect the next President Clinton.

After the election.  If Clinton were to dazzle enough voters (conversely, if Trump were to sicken enough voters) to be elected, and thenface a presidential-term indictment, she will likely ride the same wave her husband did. Hillary Clinton would take office, defend any indictment, and deal with the resulting fallout. That fallout would almost surely mean impeachment (although, not necessarily conviction), as it did for Bill Clinton. However, given that neither an indictment nor an impeachment guarantees any particular outcome, it’s entirely possible that a Madam President Clinton could continue on as the 45thPresident of the United States, leaving Emailgate as a historical footnote.

From my reading of the relevant statutes, an indictment against Secretary Clinton is possible, but hasn’t yet reached the level of “likely.” In any criminal prosecution, the misdeed is only half the equation; proof of the required mental state or standard of care is necessary for any conviction. In a case like this one, it wouldn’t be difficult to imagine a scenario in which the evidence is sufficient to show that Clinton did something wrong, but insufficient to prove that she did it purposely, knowingly, or recklessly.

Furthermore, while there’s no direct precedent governing the scenario of a FLOTUS-turned-Secretary being prosecuted for mishandling state secrets, presidents have gone on to serve after brushing with the law.   President George W. Bush had been arrested in 1976 for drunk driving – a secret which failed to derail his presidency even when it was sprung on the country right before Election Day. And of course, President Clinton’s now-famous perjury charges may have tarnished his public image, but failed to truly impact his presidency.

The Constitution is clear about the necessary qualifications for this position: the president must be above the age of thirty-five, have lived in the United States for at least fourteen years, and be a “natural-born citizen.” Placing further restrictions on the office cannot be done without passing a Constitutional amendment — a change I’ve never heard anyone even suggest.  It’s fascinating that the drafters of our Constitution put more emphasis on a person’s birthplace than on that person’s actions — but then, they were politicians too.  Maybe their choice not to require our nation’s leader to be strictly law-abiding was not an oversight, but rather, a deliberate omission by those who understood the use of criminal prosecution as a political tool.

Balance of power?

Eliane Houlette, procureur affaire Fillon

We have been around and about the world to talk about elections. We have met interesting people, hard-working people, living in lovely but unstable countries where democracy is a magic word.

When we look back at those exchanges, we have doubts about their value.  As far as our teaching  goes, what can be said about these  democratic models that are sold and sometimes imposed, ?

Take the French political model as an example.  A prosecutor interferes with a national election. This  new prosecutor was a reaction to the Cahuzac affair during Hollande’s presidency.

The apparent reasons for the  interference in  the 2017 elections lie in the fact that the law concerning the hiring of family by those who hold elected office at the national level was poorly drafted and vague.  But we are a civilized nation! So that should not be. And yet it was.  As a result, voter reaction was expressed by a historically low turnout.

All my life I have taught about democracy.  What will happen now?  Students that see me come in through the door, will look at each other with a grin. How did this happen?  A lot of work still need to be done.

Laws that are voted as a result of a scandal are notoriously flawed. This hastily invented public prosecutor’s office on financial affairs had nefarious consequences on French democracy.  So you see, democracy is not only a question of holding elections.

We have to thank John Williams for his huge amount of information.

Willuam Dow

François Fillon, ex Prime Minister

De la continuité

Bernard Owen

Les Etats conventionnels, dont le fonctionnement au long terme est assuré, comprennent des hommes et des femmes politiques d’expérience. Leur départ est toujours douloureux,  la continuité est une nécessité.