France: Senator suspended over drink-spiking case

The French conservative Horizons celebration suspended 66-year-old Senator Joel Guerriau on Saturday after he was accused of giving a feminine lawmaker a date-rape drug as a part of a plot to commit sexual assault.

Guerriau has been positioned beneath formal investigation on suspicion of drugging a glass of champagne he gave to 48-year-old MP Sandrine Josso with the intention of sexually assaulting her, the senator’s lawyer and the Paris prosecutor’s workplace mentioned.

The senator and banker, who has denied the allegations, was formally charged on Friday, and the Horizons celebration of former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, which is a part of President Emmanuel Macron’s coalition, suspended Guerriau as a primary step towards his expulsion.

Horizons mentioned it “will never tolerate the slightest complacency towards sexual and sexist violence.” The Independents caucus within the French Senate additionally suspended Guerriau, warning that he may very well be expelled.

What is understood in regards to the case?

Josso, a member of the centrist MoDem celebration, fell in poor health after accepting a glass of champagne at Guerriau’s Paris dwelling on Tuesday night time, prosecutors mentioned.

The two have identified one another for about 10 years however should not in an intimate relationship, they added. It was not clear why Josso was on the senator’s dwelling on the time of the alleged incident.

Josso’s lawyer, Julia Minkowski, has informed French media that she fell in poor health after consuming a glass of champagne at Guerriau’s condominium and noticed him dealing with a small plastic bag containing a white substance, main her to imagine her drink had been spiked.

Police searched Guerriau’s workplace and residential and prosecutors confirmed that ecstasy had been discovered. Tests revealed that Josso had ecstasy in her system, investigators mentioned, prompting her to file a prison grievance.

Guerriau, a senator since 2011, denied any sexual assault plot in a primary formal questioning on Friday. The senator “will fight to prove he never intended to administer a substance on his colleague and longstanding friend to abuse her,” mentioned his lawyer, Remi-Pierre Drai.

dh/sms (AFP, Reuters)