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Senator 'plots child sex scandal' against rival

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10:49 CEST+02:00
A French Senator has been caught on tape plotting to set up his rival Senator Jean-Louis Masson with an underage girl in Morocco.

In a recording obtained by his rival, senator Jean-Louis Masson, Grosdidier discusses plans to get an underage girl to have sex with Masson in a foreign country, weekly magazine Marianne reveals."That’s the only thing that's left for us to do: trick him with a minor," Senator François Grosdidier is heard telling an unnamed estate agent in Moselle in the east of France.

In the taped conversation, Grosdidier and the estate agent discuss the practicalities of setting up such a trap."Let’s go for Morocco, we’ll catch him like a rabbit," says the estate agent.

To which Grosdidier responds: "As soon at the story gets out, I’ll get in touch with the state secretary at the ministry of the interior and tell him ‘Listen, don’t protect him, he’s the worst half-assed French politician," adding that the removal of Masson would be "a thorn out of his side."

Both rightwing UMP senators Grosdidier and Masson are based in the department of Moselle and have reportedly been waging a war against each other for years.  

The conversation appears to have been taped in the company of other people. Masson says he received the tape from a local business owner who felt cheated by Grosdidier.

On tape, Grosdidier worries that Morocan policemen wouldn’t dare arrest a French senator. He speculates that they would need to rope in an MP, an charity organisation or a journalist to kick up a media storm.

The two men also discuss setting up Masson in a sex scandal in France. The estate agent says he has tried and failed to recruit someone locally.

"We’ve already discussed this, I can’t find anybody. They’re all afraid," says the man in the recording.

The tape also gives some interesting insights into local housing practices.

"I can’t do it. I’ve tried. I have loads of friends who aren’t afraid of anything," says the estate agent. "When I have a problem with a tenant, they go in, slap him around and get him out. But when I say it’s for the man, they’re afraid. They don’t want to use a minor in France. But let’s go for Morocco, we’ll catch him like a rabbit."

Asked about the tape, Grosdidier has not denied the recordings are real, but denies plotting against his rival, and insists the conversation was a "schoolboy prank".

Masson has filed a lawsuit against his rival for conspiracy, while Grosdidier has struck back with a suit for slander, manipulation and conspiracy.

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