The five individuals were heard in police custody for several hours on Tuesday before being placed under judicial supervision the same day, France Bleu Nord learned on Wednesday.
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Four religious leaders from the Villeneuve-d’Ascq mosque (North) and a fifth man, close to them, were taken into custody on Tuesday, suspected of “breach of trust”, “attempted scam” and “mismanagement of their accounts”, reports Wednesday, May 3 France Bleu Nord. The mosque in question is managed by an association, the religious leaders are volunteers.
The five individuals were heard in police custody for several hours on Tuesday before being placed under judicial supervision the same day. There is no indictment at the moment, specifies France Bleu Nord. A next hearing is scheduled for the four volunteer leaders on October 5. In the meantime, they no longer have the right to manage the mosque, nor to be in contact.
On March 9, the prefect filed a report with the Lille prosecutor who opened an investigation on March 16 for “attempted fraud” and “breach of trust”. At issue: a request for a grant of 25,000 euros made by the mosque to the North prefecture to secure the surroundings of the place of worship.
The first investigations reveal that the investigators looked into several real estate purchases made in recent years by the mosque, but also into a loan (200,000 euros from the Averroès high school in Lille, a private Muslim establishment) which has not yet been repaid to this day.
It should also be noted that since the mid-2000s, the mosque has been the subject of a controversy concerning the financing of its work. The leaders want to extend the place of worship to a cultural center but part of the funds come from donations from a Qatari NGO (Qatar charity). Despite an appeal by the leaders to the courts, the City of Villeneuve-d’Ascq therefore refused the new building permit.