Keyword: Corsican underworld

The former top cop at the Élysée and his links with the Corsican underworld

By and Brendan Kemmet
Screen grab of Lionel Lavergne during one of the hearings at the National Assembly into the Benalla affair. © DR Screen grab of Lionel Lavergne during one of the hearings at the National Assembly into the Benalla affair. © DR

The name of senior gendarme officer Lionel Lavergne cropped up during an investigation into a Corsican 'mafia' godfather in 2014, Mediapart has learnt. Yet despite the astonishing contents of phone-taps in the case, that same year the gendarme was appointed number two in charge of protecting the president at the Élysée. When subsequently told by a senior official at the Élysée that he would not get promoted to the top post, Colonel Lavergne retorted: “You don't know who you are dealing with.” He later got the top post, working as head of Élysée security for presidents François Hollande and Emmanuel Macron from 2017 to 2019. Matthieu Suc and Brendan Kemmet report on the results of a Mediapart investigation that goes back five years.

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