Adrien Quatennens and the slap to his wife: will the deputy resign?

Adrien Quatennens and the slap to his wife will the

QUATENNENS. Targeted by an investigation for “violence on a spouse”, Adrien Quatennens withdrew from his duties at LFI but did not renounce his mandate as a deputy. If called upon to retire from politics, the elected official does not seem to consider resigning.

[Mise à jour le 20 septembre à 11h37] Can Adrien Quatennens still think of a political future? The question arises more and more as this September 20 the political class reacts to the case of domestic violence revealed by The chained Duck and which weighs on the LFI deputy from the North. Ecologists and feminists Sandrine Rousseau and Sandra Regol called for the withdrawal of the elected official “from public life” or even from “all of his political functions”. Adrien Quatennens already announced on September 18 his decision to withdraw from his national responsibilities within the political group La France insoumise. Will he go so far as to resign from his post? The rebellious deputy does not yet seem to be considering this option, on the contrary he hopes that his frankness – the man admitted to having had bouts of violence against his wife, Céline Quatennens, in particular once when he slapped after an argument – will ensure his will to do well and limit the political consequences. This is what Adrien Quatennens’ lawyer, Jade Dousselin, explains on BFM TV this Tuesday: “He wanted to set an example, which he asks of others”. Me Dousselin continues by defending his client and assuring that “this gesture, he regrets it but it is not what it is”.

If Adrien Quatennens blames the blow to his political career, he has not yet announced his departure and should not do so until he is legally implicated. The Lille prosecutor’s office decided to open an investigation for “violence on a spouse” against the deputy on September 19, following the filing of the handrail of his wife but for the time being Adrien Quatennens “has not been heard”. “The prosecutor has not launched a hearing” says his lawyer who also adds that the couple’s statements do not mention all the elements of the case. The investigations are continuing but the politician may not come out unscathed because the prosecution clarified that “the absence of a complaint by the victim heard in the context of the criminal proceedings […] obviously does not preclude prosecution”.

The deputy did not give his last word but must now deal with a difficult divorce and suspicions of domestic violence. And the case is a task in the ranks of LFI, which had made violence against women a key subject of the legislative campaign. Moreover, the reactions of party members, including Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who praised “the courage” and the decision taken for his right arm, displeased some elected officials who complained about the lack of provision or the holding an internal investigation at LFI according to information from Mediapart. The fact remains that for the moment neither Adrien Quatennens nor LFI have advanced their pawns towards a resignation of the parliamentarian.

What acts of violence did Adrien Quatennens acknowledge?

In the press release issued on September 18, Adrien Quatennens returned to the acts of violence that weigh against him. The LFI deputy admitted to having “slapped” his companion a year ago, “in a context of extreme tension and mutual aggressiveness.” In addition, he explained that he “grabbed the wrist” of his companion during an argument. Then, during another – the last according to him – he said he took the phone from his wife, who then jumped on his back. “I pulled away and, as I let go, she hit her elbow,” he said.

What does Adrien Quatennens risk for having slapped his wife?

The episode of the slap given by Adrien Quatennens to his wife is the most striking. If politically, having recognized it could not be without consequences for the one who was the number 2 of LFI, judicially, a risk also exists. Because even if it is simply quoted in a daybook and not covered by a complaint, legal proceedings can be initiated by the prosecution.

In the law, there are several types of slap. First, that being judged “simple”, “as mild violence.” It is defined by article R 624-1 of the penal code which governs willful violence that has not resulted in total incapacity for work. It is sanctioned with a maximum fine of 750 euros.

In addition, a slap can also be qualified as “more or less aggravating voluntary violence”, this assessment being evaluated according to the number of ITT (more or less than eight days). Thus, violence resulting in an ITT of less than or equal to eight days (even 0) is punishable by three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 euros when committed against a spouse. Violence resulting in an ITT for more than eight days is punishable by five years’ imprisonment and a fine of 75,000 euros when committed against a spouse.

What reactions at LFI and on the side of the Nupes?

Within Nupes, reactions to the Quatennens affair have been eclectic to say the least in recent days. The leader of La France insoumise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, caused an outright outcry by initially supporting Adrien Quatennens, preferring to overwhelm the police, the media and Internet users more than the number 2 of LFI. “Police malice, media voyeurism, social networks have invited themselves into the conflictual divorce of Adrien and Céline Quatennens. Adrien decides to take everything on himself. I salute his dignity and his courage. I tell him my trust and my affection “, thus estimated Sunday morning on Twitter the ex-presidential candidate. A remark deemed “chilling”, “from another world” or even “lamentable” and on which Jean-Luc Mélenchon finally returned a little later in the day, specifying that his “affection for him [Adrien Quatennens ndlr.] does not want to say [qu’il est] indifferent to Céline”. “But I say it: a slap is unacceptable in any case”, assured the rebellious leader.

For her part, Clémentine Autain, deputy for Seine-Saint-Denis, described as “inevitable”, but “just” the withdrawal of Adrien Quatennens, while Sandrine Rousseau called, on the airwaves of Radio J, the elected official to put himself completely “withdrawn from all public speech”. “It is not possible to represent men and women […] when we are guilty of such acts”, estimated the deputy EELV who now awaits “sanctions” from LFI. A position which opposes her to Mathilde Panot, for whom Adrien Quatennens’ decision was ” courageous”, but which now advocates a time for discussion and reorganization. Still on the set of the Grand Jury of RTL-LCI-Le Figaro Sunday, Mathilde Panot however did not close the door to a possible return to the front of the stage of Adrien Quatennens: “We who are committed to the fight against sexist and sexual violence do not think that a man, even if he has at one time committed an act of violence, is a man who is violent for life, that would be natural.” On September 20, MP Raquel Garrido referred the issue of sidelining Adrien Quatennant to voters at the microphone of BFM TV : “It is up to the voters to give the mandates and if necessary to take them back” before implying that in the absence of a conviction by the courts the deputy remains legitimate in his functions. “Voluntary violence is a crime. But to be able to say that these facts are a crime, there is a criminal procedure. ‘self-incrimination in general,’ she said.

The newspaper in its edition of September 14 uses very explicit terms to report on the strained relations between Adrien Quatennens and his wife. “Adrien Quatennens is suspected of having engaged in domestic violence.”. Le Canard also recalls the approach of the deputy’s wife and her desire not to file a complaint. The newspaper also contacted the parliamentarian’s lawyer, who insists that this handrail was filed “following a dispute in order to protect itself in the event of a dispute over this divorce”. Note that the Quatennens couple did not want this procedure to leak to the press. But more than the divorce, it is the political aspect of this affair which is the subject of the article in Le Canard Enchaîné. “Already, the questioning by several women of a faithful of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Eric Coquerel […] had set fire to La France Insoumise”, writes the newspaper, which quotes an elected LFI, obviously worried: “Adrien is one of those who embody the future of the party, after Mélenchon. This new case can only cause an earthquake.”

What is a handrail, of which Adrien Quatennens is the subject?

Adrien Quatennens is not the subject of a complaint. It is a handrail that was filed against him, by his companion Céline. And the difference is far from trivial. The purpose of the daybook is not “to initiate proceedings against the perpetrator, but to report the nature and date of the facts to the police”, explains the Public Service site, even giving an example which could be similar to the procedure aimed at Adrien Quatennens: “dating the departure of your spouse from the home can, for example, be used in the event of a divorce.”

But the Quatennens couple must now deal with very strong media exposure. For two reasons: firstly because the Lille public prosecutor’s office was seized of the filing of the handrail, as indicated by BFMTV, although he did not want to speak to the press to comment on the information. And as one could logically expect, the prosecution took legal action in the case by requesting the launch of an investigation. The prosecution regularly decides to obtain clarification from an investigation when it comes to a family dispute to ensure that the desire not to file a complaint is real and that there is no situation of psychological influence. It’s even the procedure to follow by police officers in the event of suspicion of domestic violence. And this, even if the two people making up the couple expressly request that there be no legal action.

Who is Céline Quatennens, the companion of Adrien, LFI deputy?

Adrien Quatennens has always remained very discreet about his private life, never appearing publicly as a couple. However, the LFI deputy from the North is well married, to a woman named Céline. But the couple is therefore in the process of divorce, as he announced in a press release. Never mentioned in the portraits devoted to the rebellious thirty-something, she therefore seems to prefer the shadows. Together, the couple have a daughter, as it was echoed The voice of the North.