How did the Presidential Advisor cause an international scandal?
London, June 26: Today, there are certain associations with the so-called Kazakhgate scandal: Nicolas Sarkozy, Nursultan Nazarbayev, but not Jean-Francois Etienne des Rosaies. Although the recent results of the investigation stated that he was the one who began it.
In this article, you will find out why the advisor to the former president of France is accused of strained relations between the two European countries.
Patokh Chodiev and his role in Kazakhgate scandal
The Kazakhgate case began back in 2012, but in order to fully understand all the details, there is a need to go back even further - in the mid-1990s. Then the Belgian authorities accused Patokh Chodiev and his partners in financial transactions related to real estate. However, the more law enforcement authorities got into this case, the more it became controversial. As a result, the investigation of the Belgian real estate took 15 years.
The case was closed in 2011 after Belgium passed an expanded guilty plea law. And Kazakh businessmen paid 20 million euros in exchange for the removal of charges without any recognition.
But the investigation of this case did not end there, only began. Since a year later mass media published a statement that Nursultan Nazarbayev asked Nicolas Sarkozy to conclude a lengthy Belgian investigation against billionaire Patokh Chodiev. In return, the President of Kazakhstan promised to improve relations between the countries, as well as Chodiev’s assistance in making a deal.
Also, it was claimed that Sarkozy officials helped Chodiev to overcome the problems in Belgium for the agreement on the sale of helicopters and satellites in the amount of 2 billion euros.
Chodiev: Kazakhgate investigation process
While the European community was deciding whether the French government really influenced the adoption of the law in Belgium. Advisor to the former president, Jean-Francois Etienne des Rosaies decided to reinforce rumours by telling insiders that he managed to influence the Minister of Justice of Belgium in the matter of the case against Chodiev. He claimed that besides the Minister, he also held talks with Belgian Senator Arman de Decker, who agreed to the terms of the French government.
These articles laid the foundation for the so-called Kazakhgate scandal and also caused deteriorating of relations between Belgium and France.
The European community could not ignore such bragging, and in December 2016, the Belgian parliament launched an investigation into the allegations. According to official figures, 15 members of parliament were involved in the investigation, and over 16 months of the procedure they heard 177 witnesses, whose testimonies were presented in a 500-page report.
According to the investigation, the guilty plea had nothing to do with the French side and the Chodiev case, in particular.
In addition, President Sarkozy’s chief of staff, Claude Guéant, officially stated that the French side only introduced Chodiev to lawyer Catherine Degoul, who led the case. And Degoul hired Senator De Decker without notifying Сhodiev.
The investigation later discovered that De Decker had contacted Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck about Chodiev’s case, but his appeal was rejected because the Minister did not interfere in such cases.
In addition, the claims of des Rosaies were also contradicted by the statements of the Ministers of Justice, Finance and Foreign Affairs.
Patrick de Wolfe of the Brussels Court of Appeal stated that the guilty plea law had nothing to do with Chodiev’s case. And later, the PIC stated that there was no undue influence on the adoption of the law, which had been discussed for many years before its adoption.
Why Jean-Francois Etienne des Rosaies?
As it turned out, the strained relations between the two European countries began with the bragging of des Rosaies about the influence of France on the Belgian government. Today, the investigation claims that by distorting the facts, des Rosaies tried to attract public attention to his person and gain international acceptance and social status.
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