Stuck in a case of political "sextape" blackmail that has shaken his city since September 2022, the mayor of Saint-Etienne, Gaël Perdriau (ex-Republican), was again placed in police custody on Tuesday April 4 by the police. judicial in Lyon, announced his cabinet, confirming information from Franceinfo. "It's the normal procedure that takes its course," said Pierre Chappel, communications officer in the mayor's office.
Mr. Perdriau was summoned by the judicial police on Tuesday afternoon in Lyon, at the same time as his former chief of staff Pierre Gauttieri, his former deputy Samy Kefi-Jérôme and the latter's ex-companion Gilles Rossary-Lenglet, at the origin of the case revealed by Mediapart. The four hearings were confirmed to Agence France-Presse by a source close to the investigation.
The mayor of Saint-Etienne and president of the Métropole, elected in 2014 and re-elected in 2020, has for three months been at the heart of a judicial investigation into the filming and use of a sexual video in which we can see his former first deputy and political rival Gilles Artigues (centrist) being massaged by a man in a hotel room, at the end of 2014.
Namely accused by Mr. Artigues, placed in police custody in mid-September 2022, quoted in damning audio recordings, the 50-year-old elected official has always claimed his innocence and repeated several times that he would not resign, even in the event of indictment.
Quickly expelled from the Les Républicains (LR) party, Gaël Perdriau retired from his duties, while remaining at the head of the municipality and the Métropole of Saint-Etienne, which had nevertheless voted in December in favor of his resignation.
Faced with criticism, the mayor has always defended the "presumption of innocence" by denouncing a "media bombardment" linked, according to him, to a "hostile policy" of Laurent Wauquiez, the LR president of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. The affair has already prompted him to dismiss Pierre Gauttieri, his former chief of staff, while Samy Kefi-Jerôme, his former municipal deputy, accused of having shot the compromising images, resigned.