What you need to know about the case Spanghero, whose trial opened this week

Six years after the first revelations on the dishes cooked with horse meat instead of beef, the justice will finally rule on the scandal of food that had made h

What you need to know about the case Spanghero, whose trial opened this week

Six years after the first revelations on the dishes cooked with horse meat instead of beef, the justice will finally rule on the scandal of food that had made headlines in 2013. At the time, this case, which affected the company's meat processing Spanghero had highlighted flaws in the traceability of meat in Europe. Since Monday 21 January, two former executives of the company as well as their intermediate Dutch appear on the bench of the accused. Reminder of the chronology of the facts.

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● January 2013, the first suspicions

The health authorities in british to find out about in mid-January 2013 that ground beef certified pure beef products in Ireland actually contain horsemeat. Ten days later, we learn that the carcasses of horses found to be contaminated were sold in France a year ago, from Great Britain. Sufficient to engage the european companies.

Findus, a Swedish company, is alerted by his sub-contractor French lasagna: Comigel. Thus, this last realized that the company Tavola gave him the meat from a slaughterhouse, the Romanian operator of the ox and the horse. The provider Tavola is found to be Spanghero, a French company based in Castelnaudary, which awakens quickly many suspicions. The tests conducted by Findus are conclusive: of the horsemeat is actually present in her lasagna.

● February, 8 2013, a scandal broke out

According to the DGCCRF, which is close to 750 tons of meat, falsely labelled, which are outputs of the factory of Spanghero. Some 550 tonnes have been delivered to Tavola, which was thus cooked to 4.5 million meals at the destination from 13 countries of the european Union. Despite the absence of risk to health, the scandal is reverberating.

" READ ALSO - What has become of the factory Spanghero, at the heart of the scandal of horse meat?

Comigel then announces the withdrawal of all of its products suspects and blames his provider, indirectly, the company Spanghero. On 12 February, the horse meat was found in lasagna frozen Picard. An investigation is opened, taught by Serge Tournaire, and brought out four names, all of today on the bench of the accused.

● February, 14 2013, Spanghero has been accused

The former head of Spanghero Jacques Poujol and the site director Patrice Monguillon are the first to be worried by the justice. They are suspected of having cheated the company Tavola selling, therefore, between 2012 and early 2013, 550 tons of meat presented as beef when it was horse. But the leaders of Spanghero are not the only ones to be targeted by the investigation. They would have been in a relationship with two traders Dutch, Jan Fasen, and Hans Windmeijer, including the activities of purchases and sales of meat in Europe is still today shrouded in shadow areas. With the help of opaque companies, including one owned by Jan Fasen, the two traders obtained their supplies from many suppliers, including Spanghero.

This last will be a few weeks later placed in liquidation. Lur Berri, who owned the company, decided to sell it. Laurent Spanghero, the creator of the company in 1970, is designated as the buyer. He changes the company name to "The Lauragaise" and retains 90 of the 240 employees at the time. He will deposit the balance sheet a year later.

organized fraud?

The survey highlights certain items that may indicate a fraud organized between Spanghero and the business men of the netherlands. First element: labels. Issued by Spanghero, they were supposed to translate a transparent information on the product. These labels indicated that the meat was sliced and processed by Spanghero, but in reality, it came from Romania, or Belgium or Canada. In addition, the horse meat produced was labelled under the name "before boneless beef". The ambiguous relationship between the merchant Jan Fasen, and Jacques Poujol can also suggest organized fraud.

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Jacques Poujol "appears to be involved in the first plan as responsible for the fraud within the company, Spanghero, especially in light of the close relationship he has developed with Jan Fasen" indicates the judge Tournaire. The Dutch trader, harassed on numerous occasions by the courts, has been sentenced in the netherlands in 2012, for fraud in the labeling having sold the horse meat in 2012 and 2013 in French sectors. In the same trial Hans Windmeijer is sentenced to work in the general interest.

● 26 January 2018, reference corrections

The investigating judge ordered the 26 January that the four protagonists are referred to in the correctional. They are then judged, since this Monday, for "deception" and "organised fraud".

According to the order of reference, "even if his responsibility becomes less central," it is said that Patrice Monguillon, the ex-director of the site, "has contributed to the achievement of the fraud, including by formalizing and responding to the directives of Jacques Poujol". Although they are not concerned legally, Comigel and its subsidiary Tavola were criticised for their negligence by the judge. "A simple visual examination would have discovered that some labels were misleading.

The defence of the parties

Since the beginning of the scandal, each of the protagonists is relieved of any responsibility. Contacted by Le Figaro , one of the lawyers of Jacques Pujol believes that his client is the main victim of this case. Criticizing the lack of transparency of the Dutch partners, Master Vey believes that his client "couldn't know" that the meat was horse. The condemnation of Jan Fasen in 2012 involving exactly "the same conditions" of fraud demonstrates "manipulation" of which his client was a victim, " proclaims a criminal defense lawyer.

For its part, the defence of Jan Fasen requires the substitution, pure and simple. The trader Dutch has never hidden its activity of sale of horse, writes his lawyer. For proof, the word "Draap" is present in the name "Draap Trading Ltd" (his company) is the anagram of "Praad" which means "horse" in Dutch. Jan Fasen is even called "the king of the Horse" complete with his lawyer. In addition, Master Triumph believes that a matter is absent from the debate: "who benefits from the crime?". The price of the horse to the kilo is significantly lower than that of the ox, the lawyer believes that Spanghero had a financial interest to sell his horse meat in the beef prices.

Date Of Update: 26 Ocak 2019, 00:00

Kathleen Lees


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