Posted Jul 20, 2022, 3:13 PM
New twist in the soap opera of the Triangle tower. A search has been underway since Wednesday morning at the Paris City Hall in the file of the very controversial tower, told AFP the entourage of mayor Anne Hidalgo and a close source, confirming information from the Parisian.
Led by two investigating magistrates, according to the mayor’s entourage, the search was made following the judicial investigation opened in March by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) for suspicions of favoritism in the operating contract for the Parc des exhibitions in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, where the construction of the tower began. “It is the logical and coherent continuation of the judicial information”, commented the entourage of Anne Hidalgo who says she is “at the disposal of justice” and for whom the search takes place “in a very calm way, without panic. “.
Anne Hidalgo absent
Technicians have planned to search computers to seize documents from the management of town planning, that of legal affairs, financial affairs, general services and the office of the mayor, said the same source. The investigators entered Anne Hidalgo’s office, where they “stayed for a quarter of an hour”, according to the same source. The mayor, traveling to Avignon for the festival, was absent but will return Wednesday evening for the transfer of powers to the police headquarters between Didier Lallement and Laurent Nuñez.
No one at the town hall is “questioned, even less indicted”, underlines the mayor’s office, in this file which dates back to the beginning of the 2010s, when Bertrand Delanoë was mayor, Anne Hidalgo first deputy to the town planning and Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, director of town planning.
Preliminary investigation for “favouritism”
The PNF had opened a preliminary investigation for “favouritism” and “concealment of favoritism” in June 2021, then a judicial investigation in March. The City of Paris had terminated the concession contract awarded to the company Viparis, then had again entrusted it with the operation of the event complex via a very long-term lease following a call for tenders deemed questionable.
The deadlines for submitting tenders were considered to be too short, given the complexity of the project. In addition, the City had accepted that Viparis does not pay the entry fee of 263 million euros requested from candidates. In exchange, this subsidiary of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield had to waive the compensation for early termination of the initial contract.
The mayor LR of the 7th arrondissement of Paris, Rachida Dati, had made a report to justice in July 2020 on the construction project of the tower, which must stretch over 42 floors and 180 m high, in the perimeter of the Park exhibitions. Then the Anticor association had in February 2021 filed a complaint with civil action.