After the indictment and suspension of the Horizons party of Joël Guerriau, his lawyer Mr. Rémi-Pierre Drai speaks this Saturday. The senator from Loire-Atlantique is accused by MP Sandrine Josso of having drugged her without her knowledge to sexually assault or rape her. The chosen one was indicted Friday for “administration without Sandrine Josso’s knowledge of a substance likely to impair her judgment or control of her actions, in order to commit rape or sexual assault and possession and use of substances classified as narcotics.” Joël Guerriau was also suspended this Saturday morning from the Horizons party.
His lawyer, Me Rémi-Pierre Drai, agreed to answer questions from France Bleu.
Your client Joël Guerriau is accused by MP Sandrine Josso of having drugged her without her knowledge with the aim of sexually assaulting or raping her. He was indicted. What is Mr. Guerriau’s version of the facts?
He is absolutely not a sexual predator. His version of the facts is the same that he presented spontaneously from the first hour of police custody, during the confrontation with the deputy and before the investigating judge who indicted him. His version is simple and entirely credible.
It may seem a little confusing to you, but it’s the reality: he never wanted to administer a substance to his friend, his work colleague, with the aim of committing rape or sexual assault. Never. This is a handling error. He had acquired this substance whose nature he did not know. He didn’t know it was ecstasy. Someone in the Senate had given it to him as a euphoric drug in the middle of the electoral campaign. A difficult campaign for the senatorial elections. He had kept it.
He intended to consume this substance, the nature of which he did not know, on Monday evening because the day had been extremely complicated for him, with many difficult moments. But he did not do it. He had put the product in a glass of champagne and finally decided to go out. And when he returned from his outing, he decided not to consume it, to sleep. He put the glass of champagne back in its place and the next day, when he received his friend to celebrate his victory, as had been planned for several days, he served the champagne in this glass and she drank the wrong glass. That’s all.
It may seem surprising, far-fetched, whatever you want, but there are not only smooth, simple, simplistic truths. This is his version and I completely believe him.
Why didn’t he empty the glass of this substance when he returned from his outing?
He forgot there was this substance in the glass.
When he brought out this same glass the next day, he didn’t realize that he was giving a glass of champagne with this product to Madame Josso?
No, because it’s a glass of champagne, it’s colorful. The product is at the bottom of the glass and it’s a very low dosage, it’s barely a gram. He doesn’t see it and he serves champagne to this colleague. And this unfortunately consumes it. But Joël Guerriau really had no intention of administering this substance. You imagine ? To a fellow MP whom he has known for ten years, whom he has always met on a friendly basis, whom he has never flirted with. I perfectly understand the reaction of Sandrine Josso who may have been very shocked and she did well to file a complaint because that is what I would have advised all the people who are dear to me after such an event. And in fact, there is neither an ambush nor a desire to drug her and a manipulation error.
Are you talking about a stressful moment for him, which made him want to consume this substance, that is to say?
Great fatigue after the electoral campaign. His wife accompanied him to the Nantes station. They are a very united couple. Finding yourself in Paris is not always easy. Her cat died the same day, Monday. Anyone who has pets can understand how painful it is when you have a 20-year-old cat who dies.
And then he also met one of his friends, whom he hadn’t seen for some time. He saw him completely bald, having undergone a third chemotherapy, and who in my opinion, on the day I speak to you, died. All this had shaken him greatly. That’s why that evening, he really wasn’t feeling well and he wanted to consume this euphoric product which he didn’t know was ecstasy.
His Horizons party suspended him this Saturday morning. The parliamentary group Les Indépendants – République et Territoires (Lirt) also. How does he react to this news?
There are a lot of things falling apart around him. I propose to the Horizons party to change the law and put an end to the presumption of innocence. I propose to move on to the presumption of guilt which would weigh on each person who is implicated until they are declared innocent and therefore the Horizons party goes all the way. The presumption of innocence clearly no longer has any meaning for his political colleagues. So, I understand that they protect themselves, because they are afraid of the waves. But that’s going a bit far all the same. This is politics with all its delights and its poisons.
There, he rests with his family. He intends to resume his professional life normally. He is not going to commit suicide, he is not going to emigrate, he is not going to go to prison. He must show others that he has nothing to be ashamed of. So, he will return to a normal life, a political life. He was not barred from entering the Senate. He was not prohibited from continuing to be a senator and fulfilling his parliamentary mandate. So he will do what he can do as much as possible. He continues his functions and since he is suspended by his party, he will continue without label while he proves his innocence.
Video extracts of an anti-drug speech given by Joël Guerriau in the Senate are circulating on social networks while a bag of ecstasy was found in his apartment. Traces of drugs were also found in his blood. Isn’t that paradoxical?
He has only one speech: that on the harms of drugs. He took some, ecstasy, without knowing that it was. This is someone who has never taken drugs. And when I read in certain media that quantities of drugs were found in his analyses, it’s complete rubbish, it’s quite the opposite. In his blood, in his hair, in his urine, we found absolutely no trace of drugs. All this false information is quite unbearable. I think we’ve screwed him up a lot in this process. He also has the right to have his honor preserved.
What is next in your approach to defend him?
He will be heard again. We asked the investigating judge for this to happen quickly, probably at the beginning of January. And we will ask the judge to investigate a certain number of avenues, including on the complainant’s side, because there are two opposing versions.
Again, I completely understand why she filed a complaint, but it was anything but an ambush. It has a very specific meaning and that is absolutely not what happened. And besides, there are a lot of discrepancies in their presentation of the facts, a lot of inconsistencies also on the complainant’s side.
Contacted by France Bleu Loire Océan, Sandrine Josso’s lawyer did not wish to speak.
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