Socialist lawmaker and mayor of Tours Jean Germain is facing charges of complicity with a wedding planner accused of embezzling public funds while bringing Chinese couples on French nuptial trips.
Lawyer Dominique Tricaud said the judges had obtained enough evidence “to suspect Jean Germain of having been informed of acts of embezzlement” and “charged him with passive complicity”.
A statement issued by the senator’s lawyers stressed that he was not accused of embezzlement himself and was willing to cooperate with the judges.
Jean Germain is also the mayor of Tours and a member of President François Hollande’s parliamentary majority.
June 2013 report
The latest twist in the two-year investigation brings a political connection to the case known locally as the “Chinese weddings affair”, just five months before France’s municipal elections.
In 2011, the Canard enchaîné newspaper revealed that Taiwan-born Lise Han had been employed for several years by Tours city council to strengthen ties with China.
While on the payroll of the mayor’s office, she is accused of having awarded lucrative tourism promotion contracts to Lotus Bleu, a company she had owned before transferring it to her husband.
Lotus Bleu organised honeymoon trips during which Chinese newlyweds visited Loire Valley castles and took part in symbolic wedding ceremonies with Jean Germain.
Lise Han was charged with several counts of fraud last January and is awaiting trial.
Date created : 2013-11-02