Gabriel Matzneff, 83, who took refuge in Bordighera in Italy, is suspected of having taken with him archives useful to the investigation for "rape of a minor" under the age of 15 which targets him. The Italian hotel located near the French border was raided on Wednesday, we learned on Thursday from a French judicial source.
The investigation was opened on January 3, the day after the publication of the autobiographical novel Consent by Vanessa Springora. She denounces her relationship under the influence of the writer when she was a minor, in the 80s.
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The search was carried out by the Italian police under the authority of the Genoa public prosecutor's office, in the presence of French investigators from the central office for the repression of violence against persons (OCRVP), as part of a request for European mutual assistance. from the Paris prosecutor's office. A search had already taken place in Paris at his home on February 13.
The investigators are interested in various writings of Matzneff in order to search for potential victims: the writer recounted his activities almost daily in his published diaries which relate to the years 1953 to 1988 then 2007 to 2018.
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In his Black Notebooks, published in 2009, Gabriel Matzneff noted that his "diary from 1989 to 2006 (...), eighteen years when I was on fire, lived a thousand adventures, took a lot of grades". In a later book, La Jeune Moabite, published in 2017, he explained that these pages were "currently buried in Antoine Gallimard's safe". The Gallimard editions were the subject of a search on February 12.
Gabriel Matzneff also said that "two hundred censored pages" yet "ready for publication" of certain diaries concerning the years 1974 to 1986 had not appeared. In an interview with the former site Biffures, in 2008, the author explained this "self-censorship" because these passages risked being "considered especially scandalous".
The writer has entrusted a large part of his archives, including letters addressed to him or photos, to the Institute of Memories of Contemporary Publishing, on the outskirts of Caen. These documents were the subject of a "request for transmission", according to the judicial source.
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Gabriel Matzneff, who claimed in his books his attraction to "under 16s" and to sex tourism with young boys in Asia, has long been tolerated and even praised in the Parisian literary world.
According to another source familiar with the matter, the investigators are also interested in Christian Giudicelli, his publisher at Gallimard and traveling companion in the Philippines. As part of this investigation, a call for witnesses was issued on February 11. The Paris prosecutor Rémy Heitz explained that it was a question of avoiding that there are "forgotten victims".
Gabriel Matzneff said at the end of January "to regret" his past pedophile practices in Asia, while arguing that "at the time", "no one ever spoke of crime".