Ex-mayor of Normandy village acquitted of complicity in drug trafficking

A criminal court in the Paris suburb of Bobigny has acquitted Mélanie Boulanger, a former Socialist mayor of the small town of Canteleu in Normandy, of complicity in drug trafficking.

While the Bobigny court noted a "weakening of ethical safeguards" on the part of the 47-year-old Socialist councillor – who had a relationship with her deputy who was close to drug dealers – it did not consider that there was any "positive act" in the case that could be construed as complicity.

The former Socialist mayor, who resigned in February from the office she had held since 2014, has maintained her innocence since being taken into custody in October 2021.

She repeatedly denied any involvement in the affairs of the Meziani clan, a family with an iron grip on drug trafficking in her town, outside Rouen.

At the end of June, the Bobigny public prosecutor's office requested Boulanger be handed a one-year suspended prison sentence, as well as five years' ineligibility to stand for office and a €10,000 fine.

'Non-aggression pact'

In the prosecutor's view, the mayor's passing on of certain sensitive information to the traffickers under duress, as well as some of her dealings with the local police, amounted to a "non-aggression pact" with the traffickers.

On the other hand, the court gave a one-year suspended prison sentence to her deputy Hasbi Colak, who had lent his car to dealers undertaking a cocaine transaction in Seine-Saint-Denis, in order to "punish breaches of probity as an elected official".

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