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Tuesday June 18, 2024

French senator suspended over date-rape case

By AFP
November 19, 2023
Joël Guerriau, 66, has been a French senator since 2011. —AFP File
Joël Guerriau, 66, has been a French senator since 2011. —AFP File

PARIS: A leading French party on Saturday suspended 66-year-old Senator Joel Guerriau after his arrest for giving a date-rape drug to a female MP as part of a plot to carry out a sexual assault.

Guerriau is accused of spiking a glass of champagne he gave to 48-year-old Sandrine Josso, whose lawyer said she was now in “shock”.

The senator and banker was formally charged on Friday and is now in detention, while revelations over the case have shocked the French public.

The Horizons party, led by former prime minister Edouard Philippe, suspended Guerriau on Saturday as a first step to kicking him out.

Horizons said it “will never tolerate the slightest complacency towards sexual and sexist violence”.

The Independents caucus in the French Senate also suspended Guerriau and warned he would be expelled.

Josso, a member of the centrist MoDem party, fell ill after accepting a glass of champagne on Tuesday night at Guerriau’s Paris home, prosecutors said.

The two have known each other for about 10 years but are not in an intimate relationship, they added.

She saw the senator “grabbing a small plastic bag containing something white, in a drawer in his kitchen”, her lawyer Julia Minkowski said.