In a three-hour scrutiny by a Senate committee, Social Economy and Associations Minister Marlene Schippa denied on Wednesday that she had favored the main beneficiaries of the Marianne Fund, an organization she helped set up in spring 2021. .
As civil rights minister, Mr. Schappa launched the fund six months later. Assassination of Samuel Pattya teacher who was beheaded by Islamic extremists.
Its stated purpose is to support groups that advocate “republican values” by using social media to provide an alternative to radical Islam.
The main beneficiaries of the Marianne Fund are the Federation of Athletic and Military Preparatory Societies (USEPPM), led by Algerian-French writer Mohamed Sifaoui, who claims to have infiltrated an al-Qaeda terrorist organization.
USEPPM reportedly received €350,000 out of the fund’s €2.5 million worth of funds.
Mr. Schiappa rejected suggestions that Mr. Sifaoui and his association were favored.
“I certainly (…) did not at any moment request or order Mr. Sifawi to take precedence or to put him ahead of others. I didn’t,” she said.
— Lemonde (@lemondefr) June 14, 2023
Interagency Commission on Prevention of Delinquency and Radicalization (CIPDR), the governing body of the fund within the Ministry of the Interior was then under Skippa’s control.
Its director, Christian Gravel, resigned last week after the Inspector General’s Office (IGA) released a dismal report against him.
Regarding his relationship with Sifawi, Skippa said: “We are not friends and do not have common interests with any particular organization” and that he “does not have any personal relationship” with Sifawi. .
“I’m going to take all my responsibility, and nothing but my responsibility,” she said.
Sifawi himself is currently under investigation by the Central Office for Combating Corruption and Financial Crimes (OCLCIFF) as part of an investigation into allegations of misappropriation of public funds.
In mid-April, Ms Sifawi, one of USEPPM’s two leaders, said she was encouraged to apply for the fund “by Ms Schiappa’s ministers and herself”.
Testimony at the Senate hearings revealed that he had made several visits to the minister’s office even before the fund was launched.
Prime Minister Schiappa’s former chief of staff Sebastian Jalet said last Wednesday that the minister had rejected the association approved by the selection committee without naming him.Dominique Sopo claims to be concerned SOS Racismserves as president of He said his NGO had submitted a €100,000 grant application.
During questioning, Schiappa said he “doesn’t remember” the alleged dealings with SOS racism.
https://www.rfi.fr/en/france/20230614-french-minister-schiappa-quizzed-by-senate-committee-over-fund-for-assassinated-teacher French minister Schiappa questioned by Senate committee over distribution of ‘Marianne’ funds