The murder that remains a state mystery in France

40 years have passed since the crime and France is still openly asked in radio, press and television for the murder of Prince Jean de Broglie , an aristocrat, descendant of Charles X, dedicated to business and politics with such success that it was one of the architects of Valéry Giscard d’Estaing to reach the presidency of France in 1974. On December 24, 1976 De Broglie was shot dead in front of number 2 Dardanelles street, in Paris, and at that moment a mystery was born that was never solved , loaded with questions that stubbornly point to a dark state issue: why did they kill him? and, moreover, who ordered his death?

On the icy morning of December 1976, when the funeral was held, only his family went to the small church of Chambrais, in Normandy, to bid farewell to the prince who had been nothing less than the person in charge of the finances and president of the Independent Republicans, the game of Giscard. Not even his high contribution to the French presidency was useful for his co-religionists to attend his funeral. Neither were his partners and friends and that De Broglie had been the head of the network of companies that the famous Matesa had in Europe. That is to say, director of the international plot of the great Spanish textile company of businessman Juan Vilá Reyes (1925-2007),

protagonist in 1969 of a scandal of proportions of State that moved Franco’s Spain when it was discovered that they organized large exports of nonexistent looms without shuttle to benefit from huge economic aid that did not return to our country. It is assumed – and this is another question in the case – that Matesa’s money helped Giscard to the presidency. The presumption is that De Broglie and the Giscardians arranged to move funds irregularly from the financial-business infrastructure of the Catalan Juan Vilá Reyes who was a personal friend of Giscard and his family for more than ten years. Was the party’s funding behind a crime that the Giscard government tried to pass off as a matter of common crime? The answer is in the air but perhaps it begins to reveal itself.

On the occasion of the anniversary of the crime, both the French public television

On the occasion of the anniversary of the crime, both the French public television

film festivals and various French cultural forums have issued in recent days a tense documentary research about the case. Its author, the journalist and director Francis Gillery, who qualifies his thriller work, investigated with his team for more than two years in such a way that he has managed to gather very revealing new testimonies as well as obtain for his work essential data of a set of investigations journalistic of different European media, among which is La Vanguardia .

Two pieces of this puzzle were investigated by this newspaper and give substance to a substantial part of the documentary in which, testimony after testimony, it is concluded that the murder of De Broglie and the subsequent death of Minister Robert Boulin, are part of a conspiracy that is better explained through the hypothesis of the crime of State to cover political disgraces than through official investigations that try to shelve the issue.

One of the pieces contributed by La Vanguardia deals with the connection of Jean de Broglie and Valéry Giscard d’Estaing with Juan Vilá Reyes and the famous Matesa case. The other is the testimony of French real estate developer Henry Tournet about the death in 1979 of Robert Boulin, the Labor Minister of the Giscard government who, despite having his face smashed to pieces, officially ruled that he committed suicide by drowning in a lagoon barely a few centimeters deep.

Tournet, involved in the scandal of a real estate transaction that had been used to politically discredit Boulin, agreed to speak at his home in Ibiza about the “murder” of his friend minister who connected with that of Prince De Broglie and with Matesa. After several meetings, Tournet told this newspaper that he feared for his life and disappeared from Ibiza suddenly to reappear years later in South America, where he died.

The suspicion of a state crime was born only five days after


the murder when Michel Poniatowski, then Minister of the Interior, number two of the party and another of the architects that Giscard had reached the presidency of the Republic, announced on television that the guilty had been arrested and that the crime had been perpetrated by private partners of Jean de Broglie in revenge for the non-payment of some loans. The explanation, unusually public and swift, of the powerful Poniatowski sounded so strange and the motive was considered so absurd that no one believed the minister.

Then came new police accounts to which less solid were accompanied by a rosary of freedoms of allegedly involved and strange judicial behavior that did nothing but raise more questions about the role of government in the affair. Parallel to this, there were emerging in the press clues about irregular financing, strange accounts in Luxembourg, comments about hard internal fights among the Giscardians and rumors of threats to reveal unspeakable secrets. All this created a turbulent climate that would take even more force with the death of Minister Boulin, especially when it transcended that on the day of his death he had removed a dossier from his personal safe -Tournet said it was that of Matesa / De Broglie- before go to a mysterious date on the lake where he “committed suicide”.

In the documentary of Francis Gillery, entitled L’assassinat de Jean de Broglie

In the documentary of Francis Gillery, entitled L

unites affaire d’Etat , forensic, police, lawyers and journalists who intervened in the cases dismantle the version of Boulin’s suicide, like other agents and other direct testimonies they dismantle the formal version that says de Broglie was killed by criminals for debt matters.

Now we know what did not happen but we still need to know the truth, part of which Vilá Reyes undoubtedly knew. In June of 1988 this industrialist told this journalist that “the French could have used my infrastructure for objectives that I do not know (….) And added:” All of us believed in a United Europe “. A few days later, already very confidentially, he commented in a low voice and as if in passing: “We had to help them because when democracy came they would help us”. And then he kept silent.