Jean de Broglie
| Jean de Broglie|
|Born||21 June 1921|
|Died||24 December 1976) (Age 55)|
Cause of death
The investigation into his 1976 assassination was soon classified as a military secret.
Prince Jean Marie François Ferdinand de Broglie' (Prince Broglie) was a French politician of the Center national des indépendants et paysans (CNI) and the Républicains indépendants (RI) , who was a member of the National Assembly and several times State Secretary in various governments of the Fifth Republic. He was also a member of the European Parliament between 1967 and 1976, which at the time was still sent by the respective parliaments of the member states.
His assassination on December 24 1976, which probably was connected to arms smuggling, whitewashing of money and illicit party funding, led to the "Broglie Affair" during the final years of President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing's office. The files were soon classified as a "defence secret".
Jean de Broglie was assassinated on December 24, 1976 when he left the home of Pierre de Varga, his tax advisor (a financier with a dubious past, former member of the Gestapo in Bourges with Pierre Paoli). He had involved Jean de Broglie in several of his troubled investments. At 9:22 a.m., he was shot with three .38 Special caliber bullets, two in the back of the neck and one in the chest.
Judge Guy Floc'h is appointed to instruct the investigation, but five days after the assassination, the Minister of the Interior Michel Poniatowski, violating the secrecy of the investigation, organizes a press conference in which he gives the official motive, a story of loan and life insurance between Jean de Broglie, Pierre de Varga and Patrick Allenet de Ribemont, who owned the restaurant La Reine Pédauque, and to which the deputy has given a deposit up to 5 million francs. Varga had in fact been arrested the previous day on suspicion of being the “key figure” in the affair along with the other sponsor.
The Charles-Martel group, "a mysterious far-right group", also claims the attack, indicating that "the Prince de Broglie had been liquidated as responsible for the invasion of France by the North African hordes". However, this claim seems to be unfounded.
In fact, two reports concerning a project of trafficking in false treasury bills have been in the possession of the director of the judicial police Jean Ducret for several months. They were written by Michel Roux, inspector of the tenth territorial brigade, on information given to him by the informant Albert Leyris, and are dated April 1 and September 27, 1976. The second report mentions that Broglie soon was to be assassinated for a reason linked to an “indelicacy committed by the politician in a previous affair involving several million” . It specifies the identities and addresses of the three sponsors of the traffic: MM. de Varga, de Broglie and Allenet de Ribemont. Jean Ducret explains that the project to issue false Treasury bills mentioned in the first report has not been followed up; therefore, he did not give credit to the second report and kept it to himself and forgot about it.
In addition, the investigative journalist Alain Laville states that at the end of May 1976, the Marseille hired killer Roland Luperini, a police informer and familiar with the world of counterfeit money, was looking for a killer to perform a "contract" on the person of Jean de Broglie, the budget for the assassination being set at 70,000 francs by his sponsors.
The shooter Gérard Frêche and Guy Simoné, former police inspector and friend of Pierre de Varga, were arrested on December 27 and 28, 1976 thanks to information provided by the informant Albert Leyris. When questioned by the Police, he made a detailed confession. At the end of the trial on December 23, 1981, the gunman Gérard Frêche was sentenced to ten years in prison; and Serge Tessèdre, an accomplice who recruited him, five years. Guy Simoné, defended by Roland Dumas, is also sentenced to ten years in prison for complicity in the murder as an organizer, although Dumas has highlighted that Broglie chaired a subsidiary of the Spanish company Matesa, the company Luxembourg Sodetex SA backed by Opus Dei and involved in a financial scandal, the tax evasion of capital from Francoist Spain; Jean de Broglie had been the treasurer of the Independent Republicans (RI), charged with financing the presidential campaign of Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in 1974 and, "in the eyes of the Spanish press, Sodetex had been formed for the sole purpose of 'to feed the coffers of the centrist party to come” (i.e. the soon to be established Union pour la démocratie française. Varga the sponsor, defended by Francis Szpiner, is sentenced by the Assize Court to ten years imprisonment for "complicity in murder".
The debates do not make it possible to shed light on who exactly was responsibile, as Court President André Giresse complained, stressing the lack of complete cooperation of the police services with the justice system and the manifestly false character of many testimonies. Patrick de Ribemont, after having been publicly presented as guilty by Michel Poniatowski, obtained a dismissal on March 21, 1980 and France was convicted by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR ) on 10 February 1995 and 7 August 1996, the Court awarding him 2 million francs in damages for breach of the principle of the presumption of innocence. On June 12, 1980, Varga was also dismissed before the chamber of the Paris Court of Appeal.
Rehabilitated in 1988, Guy Simoné converted to consulting and management training, still claiming from his innocence. The Broglie case having been highly unusually been classified as a military secret, Simoné is endeavoring to resume the investigation and remove the secrecy, but the Ministry of the Interior replied that this classified information could not be opened until 2025. Simoné argues that De Broglie's death could be linked to arms trafficking.
- Jesús Ynfante, Un crime sous Giscard. L'affaire de Broglie, l'Opus Dei, Matesa, préface de Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Éditions François Maspero, 1981, p. 16.
- Gilbert Abas, Les coups tordus des services secrets français, Coëtquen Éditions, 2014, p. 119.
- Pierre Ottavioli, Échec au crime - 30 ans de "quai des Orfèvres", Paris, Bernard Grasset, 1985, 353 p. (ISBN 2-246-27321-8), Police et justice
- lain Laville, Le Juge Michel. Pourquoi est mort celui qui allait révéler les secrets de Marseille, Presses de la Cité, 1982, p. 223.
- Christian Chatillon, Contre-enquête sur l'affaire de Broglie, Éditions du toucan, 2015, p. 121
- Jean Garrigues, Les scandales de la République : De Panama à Clearstream..., Nouveau Monde Éditions, 2010, 606 p..
- Guy Simoné, Imbroglio comme de Broglie. Un septennat meurtrier, Dualpha, 2008.
- Christophe Hondelatte, « L'affaire de Broglie, un député assassiné », émission Hondelatte raconte sur Europe 1, 20 février 2017, 28 min 30 s.