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three years in prison including a firm required against the former CEO of Ikea France

Prosecutor Paméla Tabardel delivered her indictment under the patronage of American whistleblower Edward Snowden: “even if you do nothing wrong, you are being watched and recorded”. In three years, she recalled, 400 Ikea employees have been the subject of private investigations, on their license plate their lifestyle, but especially their criminal record. This case has been judged since last Monday before the court of Versailles. And the magistrate did not hesitate to request prison sentences, in particular against the former boss of Ikea France.

Two years in prison against the directors of Avignon and Reims

The magistrate methodically demonstrated a system. With, at the bottom of the scale, the local management. She thus required two years of suspended sentence and 5,000 euros fine against the managers of the stores in Avignon and Reims who applied “the national instructions for systematic checks”.

Same requisitions against three police officers suspected of having transmitted to them the criminal records of employees of IKEA.

“Jean-François Paris is not a whistleblower”

But the majority of requests passed through headquarters, especially recalled the prosecutor, via the director of risk management of IKEA. Jean-François Paris, whom she nicknamed “the collector”, placed an order with the director of the private security company Eirpace by sending him the lists of employees to investigate. The magistrate requested three years in prison, one of which was firm against Jean-Francois Paris, even if he admitted the facts. “Mr. Paris is not a whistleblower. In this case it is the press which revealed the system,” she said. The prosecutor also considered that her assistant Sylvie Weber was aware of this system. She thus requested against her a year of suspended prison sentence and a 10,000 euros fine.

The prosecutor finally requested two years in prison, including a suspended sentence against Jean-Pierre Foures, the boss of Eirpace, who denied having asked police sources to consult police files on employees of IKEA France. The administrative and financial director, for his part, “signed with his eyes closed,” quipped the prosecutor. His signature was found on three Eirpace invoices. The man explained during the hearing that he did not know what these bills were for. Not convinced, the magistrate requested against him two years in prison suspended and 10,000 euros fine.

Three years in prison including two suspended against the former CEO of Ikea France

But it is the former general manager of Ikea France who is designated as the sponsor of this system of systematic research set up by Jean-François Paris. Jean-Louis Baillot denies en bloc, but given the nature of his responsibilities, the prosecutor wants “a sentence that marks”. She requested three years in prison. The magistrate also asked for the release of her successor to the general management of IKEA France.

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Finally, she called for the condemnation of the legal entity SAS Meubles IKEA France in particular for the habitual concealment of usual data collections with an “exemplary character”. She asked the Versailles court to send a strong message: “The criminal risk must be greater than the expected benefit”. She requested a 2 million euro fine.

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