Kazakhgate: Former presidential advisor on the path to recognition

It is about the claims of Jean-Francois Etienne des Rosaies about the involvement of senior officials of two European countries in the decision to drop all the charges from the businessman Patokh Chodiev.

French investigators have compiled a thick file in which there is no shortage of pieces. Among these, there are two e-mails sent by Jean-Francois Etienne des Rosaies, ex-prefect and former project manager with Nicolas Sarkozy.

How diplomat has made a serious professional mistake by creating an international scandal on unconfirmed facts. Read about it below.

E-mails of Jean-Francois Etienne des Rosaies

According to the letters of Jean-Francois Etienne des Rosaies, which were published by the French media, in 2011 Belgian Senator Arman de Decker put pressure on the Minister of Justice of Belgium to drop all the charges from Chodiev. According to media reports, de Decker allegedly acted on behalf of the Champs Elysees.

At that time, the French authorities were negotiating the sale of 45 Eurocopter helicopters to Kazakhstan. And the community assumed that Chodiev had a certain influence on President Nursultan Nazarbayev and could help France conclude a contract for hundreds of millions of euros.

Patokh Chodiev: Kazakhgate investigation

The European community could not ignore such bragging, and in December 2016, the Belgian parliament launched an investigation into the allegations. According to official figures, 15 members of parliament were involved in the investigation, and over 16 months of the procedure they heard 177 witnesses, whose testimonies were presented in a 500-page report.

The main evidence against France were the letters of advisor to the former president, Jean-Francois Etienne des Rosaies in which he told that he had managed to influence the Minister of Justice of Belgium in the matter of the case against Chodiev. He claimed that besides the Minister, he also held talks with Belgian Senator Arman de Decker, who agreed to the terms of the French government.

However, as the investigation showed the guilty plea had nothing to do with the French side and the Chodiev case.

According to official figures, the intervention of the French side ended on the acquaintance of Chodiev with lawyer Catherine Degoul, who led the case. And Degoul was the one, who hired Senator De Decker without the knowledge or consent of Сhodiev.

Later statements by the Ministers of Justice, Finance and Foreign Affairs of Belgium confirmed the information that has been provided by the presidential adviser distorted facts and events. And although De Decker had contacted Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck about Chodiev’s case, his appeal was rejected because the Minister did not interfere in such cases.

Patokh Chodiev: Accidentally involved party

The Brussels Court of Appeal confirmed that the guilty plea law had nothing to do with Chodiev’s case and there was no undue influence on the adoption of the law, which had been discussed many years before its adoption.

Thus it can be concluded that there were no other grounds for the conflict between the two countries, except for the statements Jean-Francois Etienne des Rosaies. Today, the European community believes that there was no evidence of French influence, as well as the cooperation of the government of Elysees with a Kazakh businessman, Patokh Chodiev.

According to former colleagues of Jean-Francois Etienne des Rosaies, the Frenchman has “very strong demand for acceptance and for respect”, so it is not surprising that he decided to attract attention by such a scandal.

More than that, during the PIC hearings the colleagues of the former advisor were describing Jean-Francois Etienne des Rosaies as a “Walter Mitty” character.

It seems that des Rosaies, who made a vibrant career as an assistant in the administration of Nicolas Sarkozy, did what diplomats should avoid: he caused an international scandal, exaggerating greatly and distorting the facts and events.