The Nanterre court shaken by a corruption case

It is a case of alleged corruption whose turmoil has not finished agitating the court of Nanterre. Various players in the judicial world could still be auditioned in the coming weeks by the investigators of the Hauts-de-Seine PJ, in charge of the investigations. Barely 20 years old, Maazouza S. was employed as a court clerk at the Nanterre court. His role ? Ensure the smooth running of hearings by welcoming litigants and lawyers during trials.

Appreciated by many of her colleagues, described as a young woman “helpful” to ” strong character “Maazouza S. is now suspected of having “turned down” clients on behalf of at least three lawyers in exchange for money. In this same case, a magistrate, president of a correctional chamber in Nanterre, described as ” close “ of this employee, was indicted for ” Bribery ” last May. He has since been posted to the provinces.

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To better understand this file, described as ” very sensitive “ and on which the Chancellery has not “wanted to comment”we have to go back to the fall of 2020.

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At the time, a mother made astonishing statements to a prosecutor stationed in the Hauts-de-Seine prefecture. In essence, she confides that she was directed by Maazouza S., in the summer of 2019, to a lawyer “specialized in assault cases” while seeking advice for her son, who was a victim of violence. The lawyer, Hafida E.-A., 41, then told him that she had set her fees at ” only “ 1,500 euros, since she had gone through the clerk-audience.

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Very quickly, a second testimony comes to corroborate this first account. The two plaintiffs, dissatisfied with the services of Me Hafida E.-A. – also already sentenced twice for illegal exercise of the profession of lawyer while she was temporarily suspended –, open up to the one who sent them to her. The court clerk tries to reason with them to prevent them spreading the word about the case, then would have admitted, still according to the statements of the complainants, to be paid when she refers clients to lawyers.

Discount on a trip and false certificates

Maazouza S. is then wiretapped. This would have allowed the police to confirm the existence of“a folding system” at the heart of which the main respondent would have found itself. Investigators have also uncovered other incriminating facts. We hear the young court clerk find out about an upcoming trial on behalf of an acquaintance in her neighborhood, before warning him that the magistrate who will try him is ” dangerous “. She would also have offered him the services of a lawyer in exchange for a discount on a trip to the Emirates. Over the course of another interception, the police would have established that she wanted to obtain false employment certificates for a cousin awaiting trial.

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Alerted in the spring of 2020 of the “too close” of this young woman with certain litigants, the public prosecutor of Nanterre, Catherine Denis, informed the departmental chamber of the Hauts-de-Seine bailiffs. In a letter, the magistrate is alarmed by the “unsuitable positioning in particular with litigants and their families” by Maazouza S.: “I would like to thank you for informing me of the measures you intend to take to remind this clerk to adopt an attitude and remarks in line with what is expected of a bailiff in a judicial precinct. » A request that remained a dead letter.

Although the clerk denied having been corrupted and having played intermediaries with three lawyers – she would have just admitted having received a pair of high-end sneakers as a gift from Me Hafida E.-A. –, the police ended up confusing her by exploring one of her laptops. Several damning messages would have been extracted from it. In one of them, Maazouza S. is impatient and wants to know if a lawyer has been paid by one of her clients while she is waiting for her counterpart. Before concluding his request with a: “She intends to pay at Saint-Glinglin. »

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In addition, a president of the correctional chamber of Nanterre also expressed her doubts to the investigators as to the probity of Maazouza S. She suspects her of having, in December 2019, informed defendants, deemed free, in an important case of drug traffic. The latter finally fled before the statement of their sentence.

Indicted in February 2021 for “passive bribery”, “breach of professional secrecy” and ” scam “ by an investigating judge from Versailles (Yvelines), she also saw her contract with the Nanterre court come to an end. The three lawyers suspected of having acted in concert with her have been indicted for “active bribery”.

A magistrate in question

Aged 50 and very well rated by his superiors, the magistrate implicated in this same procedure would have admitted, during his police custody, to having had ” an attraction “ for Maazouza S., before settling for a role of ” big brother “ realizing that it was not mutual. Justice accuses her of having used her relations so that she obtains an emergency passport to go to Algeria during confinement. On this occasion, the young woman would also have had a false summons made before the Algerian justice to justify this trip. At the end of the summer, an intermediary, who would have made the link with an Algerian consul posted in Île-de-France, was also indicted.

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Requested, the lawyers of Maazouza S. and of the magistrate, My Fabien Arakelian and Marie-Alix Canu-Bernard, did not “didn’t want to speak”. Counsel for Me Hafida E.-A., Caroline Toby, indicates that, ” in that case, [s]he client gave an address to allow the clerk-audience, who was a friendly relation, to buy a pair of tennis shoes ». “That’s all there is against her, she continues. Maybe there will be a confrontation that will set things straight as my client said. As it stands, we consider that there is absolutely no corruption. »

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