Tongues are loosened in Saint-Etienne several weeks after the revelations of Mediapart, concerning a sextape blackmail, the intimate video, targeting Gilles Artigues, the former first assistant of Gaël Perdriau. Mayor Les Républicains of the city announced on Thursday, September 22, that he was temporarily on leave from his duties as president of the metropolis. At the same time, in Saint-Etienne, some are beginning to speak out to denounce the “Perdriau system”. His team is implicated in another video blackmail case. The case begins on March 15, 2020, in the first round of municipal elections. Ali Rasfi is a candidate on a left-wing list and an assessor at a polling station in Saint-Etienne, in the Solaure district. The educator receives several text messages from Mohamed Ghoulam, project manager in the mayor’s office – and also brother of Faouzi Ghoulam, footballer from Saint-Etienne then Naples. In the first message, it is written: “You have been filmed influencing voters, know that we will make use of the video.” SMS exchanges between Ali Rasfi and Mohamed Ghoulam. (Yannick Falt / Franceinfo) Ali Rasfi does not deny having discussed with voters on election day, but he justifies himself: “The neighborhood where I was an assessor is the neighborhood of my childhood, so of course I I met old acquaintances, in a friendly setting, I heard from each other, but I respected the framework that constrains me as an assessor! I did not understand. He suspects people of having filmed him in his polling station. “But it’s not politics anymore, we’re entering another world!” he is alarmed. Three text messages later, he receives a new message: “Before acting in this way, tell yourself that there are mobile phones everywhere filming everything and everyone…” The episode has been forgotten for months afterwards by Ali Rasfi. But the affair revealed by Mediapart has since refreshed the memory of the one who has become an opposition municipal councilor: “It reveals a system in force for a very long time. We, the opposition elected officials, are subject to special surveillance where you can’t make a movement, a gesture, without this fear of being permanently filmed.”
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