Two investigating judges from Bobigny ordered, Friday January 12, the referral to the criminal court of the mayor of Canteleu, Mélanie Boulanger (Socialist Party), and one of her deputies for complicity in drug trafficking, we learned Agence France-Presse on Sunday.

The judges followed the requisitions of the Bobigny public prosecutor’s office which had requested their dismissal at the end of December 2023, as well as that of seventeen other people suspected of being involved in extensive drug trafficking in this Seine-Maritime commune. The date of the trial has not been specified.

Ms. Boulanger is accused of being complicit in the unauthorized acquisition, transfer or transport of narcotics between September 2019 and October 2021. The councilor is suspected of having given information to the perpetrators of trafficking on controls police, delaying the installation of video surveillance cameras, which she has always denied.

His deputy, Hasbi Colak, in charge of economic development, is being prosecuted in particular for having informed traffickers about police checks or for having made his company vehicle available to them, and will be judged for the same facts.

Double game of the councilor

The case began in 2019, with the arrest in Seine-Saint-Denis of a man linked to a family from Canteleu, the Mezianis, at the heart of the case. A judicial investigation is then opened for drug trafficking and criminal conspiracy and led by a judge from Bobigny.

Two years later, in October 2021, Mélanie Boulanger and her deputy were taken into custody during an anti-narcotics raid, then released the next day.

The socialist councilor had claimed to have “no link” with drug traffickers in her Normandy town of 14,000 inhabitants located in the northern suburbs of Rouen, of which she has been mayor since 2014. According to her, they contacted her to try “to impress her, to intimidate her, to dissuade her from leading the fight” against delinquency.

But the elected official has, according to the referral order, never filed a complaint for the threats she says she received. The judges evoke a double game by Mélanie Boulanger, who publicly displayed a desire to fight against drug trafficking, but whose decisions were guided by the traffickers with whom she was in direct contact.

According to the order for reference, she, for example, asked a commissioner to account for a police operation, which had inconvenienced members of the Meziani siblings.

The seventeen other people sent back to correctional facilities are being prosecuted for drug trafficking or criminal association.