Skip to comments.Toulouse elite snared in tale of sex soirees (More French corruption)
Posted on 06/22/2003 10:06:39 AM PDT by jalisco555
AN anti-pornography campaigner, who heads Frances broadcasting authority, has been accused of attending sadomasochistic orgies and conniving in the murder of a transvestite prostitute who threatened to expose him and other pillars of the establishment in the city of Toulouse. So serious are the allegations against Dominique Baudis, 56, the former mayor of Toulouse, that President Jacques Chirac may be forced to sack him from his post as director of the watchdog Conseil Supérieur de lAudiovision.
Baudis, who was Toulouses mayor for 18 years until 2001, has been accused by Patrice Alègre, a convicted serial killer, and two former prostitutes of leading a double life as a sadomasochist nicknamed Nenette.
Alègre alleges that Baudi and another man ordered him to retrieve videotapes of orgies that were secretly filmed at a chateau by Claude Martinez, a transvestite. Martinez is said to have planned to use the tapes for blackmail.
Even by French standards, the scandal is a lurid affair and it has reverberated far beyond Toulouse, the capital of cassoulet, aeronautics and French rugby. The whole country has been transfixed by every twist and turn.
In Toulouse itself, a city of 400,000, the affair has produced shock and bewilderment. The pinkish glow of the red-brick ville rose now extends to the cheeks of several members of the elite whose names have surfaced in police inquiries into drug-fuelled sex soirées. Magistrates are among those alleged to have helped to protect Alègre, who organised the parties.
By far the most startling figure to emerge in the saga, however, is Baudis. When he was a television news presenter in the 1970s millions of viewers voted him the ideal son-in-law in a survey. He became one of the most popular mayors in the country.
More recently he had become known as an anti-sleaze campaigner, using his position in Paris to lobby for the removal of pornographic films from French television. He seems an unlikely devotee of the dungeon, one of the places in which the prostitutes claim that he joined in orgies, and his supporters have set up a committee against calumny in his defence.
Even if he had had impulses to engage in an orgy, said Claude Llabres, its president, he would never have put them into practice in Toulouse. Even the most depoliticised concierge would have said to him, Bonjour, monsieur le maire.
The allegations are taken seriously, however, by a murder squad set up to investigate the disappearance of 115 women and girls in the region since 1992. As a result of its investigation Alègre, 34, was convicted last year of six murders and five rapes. He was sentenced to life in prison after refusing to explain his actions or show any remorse.
Investigators always suspected that the steely-gazed killer had claimed more lives than he admitted and the hunt for further clues led them to Patricia and Fanny, two former prostitutes. Their testimony has helped to solve two other killings and build up a picture of Alègre a policemans son who worked for years in the Toulouse police canteen as the linchpin of a vice ring protected by politicians, magistrates and members of the police morals brigade.
Detectives drafted in from Paris believe this protection could explain why some of the killings of prostitutes were classed by police as suicides, baffling even Alègre. I dont understand why nobody saw the strangulation marks that must have been on her body, he said of one victim.
Patricia said she had seen Alègre strangle a woman at a house by a lake; Fanny claimed she had watched as Alègre sodomised and strangled Line Galbardi, a Canadian prostitute, in a hotel. The victim had threatened to inform on Alègre.
Alègre later confirmed the womens accounts. Then came his sensational confession to the killing he said had been ordered by Baudis and Marc Bourragué, a former deputy public prosecutor in Toulouse.
In a letter to a popular television presenter, he admitted murdering Martinez before the transvestites films of sadomasochistic sex sessions could be used to extort money from participants. I was asked (by Baudis and Bourragué) to go and recover the cassettes in question and silence Martinez, which I did, Alègre said.
Yesterday police were questioning Lakhdar Messaoudene, an Algerian expelled from France after serving a prison sentence for pimping. Alègre maintains that he handed over the incriminating film to Bourragué.
The citys judiciary has been left in tatters by the affair. Jean Volff, the prosecutor-general, has been sacked on orders from Paris, where interior ministry officials felt that a fresh pair of eyes was needed.
One judge raised eyebrows by admitting that he had once had a drink with Alègre. A magistrate asked to be dismissed from the case last week because she knew so many of those cited in the events.
Indeed, so many local officials are under scrutiny that a grim humour has set in at the town hall. If you want to get your own back on someone it suffices to tell them over a drink that you hear they have been named in the Alègre dossier, laughed one.
For Baudis it is no laughing matter. Initially he argued that the pornography industry was out to blacken his name because of his efforts to ban its products from television.
More recently he has been lashing out at the local newspaper, La Dépêche du Midi. The paper denies being involved in a political vendetta. We didnt invent anything, said one of its journalists. We didnt have to.
Very interesting bit of information.... thanks! Hope everything is going well with your efforts there? :-)
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