Geneva is preparing to experience a unique trial of its kind. Pierre Maudet and his Emirati travel companions are due to appear on Monday before the Police Court to answer for suspicious favors that transpire networking. A meeting awaited, so much this affair tears the Republic for almost three years. This will be the opportunity to hear the explanations of the Councilor of State – they have varied a lot over the revelations – and finally to have a first judgment which analyzes the behavior expected from an elected official when such important gifts are likely to mar its integrity.
If this hearing retains all its interest, it is clear that the pressure has dropped a notch, in particular because of the resignation of the principal concerned. For a long time, Pierre Maudet assured that he would end his mandate in the event of conviction, placing the weight of his political future on the shoulders of the court. While thus attributing to justice, and especially to the public prosecutor, the role of main enemy of his career, even of only adversary likely to blow him up. This clash between the powers was largely watered down since the political and administrative troubles of the minister, excluded from his party and deprived of any department because of possible mistreatment of his collaborators, took precedence over the criminal justice system.
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Certainly, this trial remains like a ball at the foot of the magistrate who is campaigning for his own succession in the complementary election of March 7. For a whole week, his image will be associated with this room where the worst thugs usually parade. But very clever who can predict the effect of these debates or the verdict – whatever it is – on the ballots slipped into the ballot box. For many citizens, the lies already admitted by Pierre Maudet are in themselves enough to break the necessary bond of trust with the population. As for the aficionados, they already seem ready to forgive him everything in the name of his commitment to the canton.
This general context, to which is added a certain weariness and of course the heaviness of the pandemic, changes the situation and the decor of the debates. A little calm that will do good in a case whose outcome is important in more than one way. For defendants, of course. But also for the Geneva public prosecutor, very criticized in parliament for its intransigent way of proceeding in sensitive cases affecting public figures.