Nigel Farage claims that he was the victim of an assassination attempt.
But now French magazine Libération has interviewed the mechanics involved in checking Farage’s car after the accident, as well as looking at the police reports and concluded Farage could well be fabricating just about everything.
Libération says the local prosecutor and the police filed the incident as a normal road traffic accident with no mention of assassination or sabotage.
And the magazine says the mechanic who checked Farage’s car denies he ever mentioned sabotage — as claimed by Farage — and in fact could not have done so because he only communicated with Farage using hand gestures.
Fortunately for Farage, the Libération article is in French, so is unlikely to get any traction from the press over here.
Unfortunately for him, here’s a handy translation of it:
UK: Leader of Ukip a victim of an assassination attempt? Not exactly…
Nigel Farage, the leader of the British anti-European party Ukip, claimed last Sunday in the Mail on Sunday that he had been the victim of an assassination attempt.
In late October, while the MEP was returning from Brussels by car, one of the wheels of his Volvo came off on the highway. According to Farage, this was not a simple accident, but was sabotage, and even an “assassination attempt.” All of the bolts of the wheels had been unscrewed, which according to Farage means the incident could not have been accidental. He cited as evidence the findings of the French police, who he said had confirmed that the act could only have been malicious.
“The French police examined [the accident] and told me that sometimes the bolts of a wheel can loosen a bit – but not on all four wheels,” he said to the newspaper.
The Mail on Sunday reports that “the police told Farage all wheels of the vehicle were deliberately unscrewed”. And at the scene, rescue services even indicated that he had been “victim of a malicious act.”
But Nigel Farage claims he told the police not to pursue the investigation. Accustomed to death threats, he chose not to make a fuss and keep the story to himself , at least until he decided to tell the Mail on Sunday about it. Farage: “The mechanics were absolutely sure [about criminality] but I decided not to take further action.”
We will not dare to risk questioning whether Farage suffered sabotage to his vehicle or not. But what is certain is that some aspects of the Ukip leader’s story are improbable, or let’s just say a little romanticized.
Contacted by us, the mechanics who fixed the car confirm that, once the vehicle was towed to the garage, the other three wheels of the Volvo were indeed loose. “I’ve never seen that before, we found it odd,” says Philippe Marquis, owner (with his brothers) of the garage. So why did the mechanic not warn the police if he thought it might have been sabotage? Because he never suspected sabotage. The mechanic just thought that “the wheels were simply poorly tightened from the outset by another garage,” and remembers trying to ask Farage if the vehicle had been worked on recently.
The conversation was complicated however by the fact that the mechanic does not speak English: “We spoke only using our hands”. Philippe Marquis could not be clearer about any criminality: “I never said that. We just tightened the wheels”, and he ensures that the garage could not have talked to Farage about sabotage. “If someone did, I did not know who it was,” he adds. Farage departed in his Volvo. And the garage never heard any more about it.
The version of the Ukip leader that “the mechanics” advised him there had been a malicious act is thus not supported by any evidence whatsoever. Similarly with his exchanges with the police. According to our information, the police made an investigation at the scene of the accident, well before the garage noticed the lack of tightening, but found or suspected nothing – something confirmed by a spokesperson for the CRS (police).
The Dunkirk (North) prosecutor confirms that the CRS reported a motorway incident occurring to Nigel Farage on October 21. The intervention sheet shows the police provided simple assistance. “The police could not have suspected sabotage, because they would then have been obliged to initiate criminal proceedings.”
The idea that the police would not have continued its investigations because of the will of Nigel Farage does not stand up. Under the Criminal Code, the prosecutor can act in the victim’s stead, and initiate proceedings if the latter refuses to press charges. If there was no investigation, it is not because Nigel Farage refused one, as he says. It is, more simply, because the police did not suspect a malicious act, which would have forced it to report it to the prosecutor.
In fact, until the Mail on Sunday article, the judicial authorities had not even heard of this incident that supposedly happened to Nigel Farage. We questioned the prosecutor of Boulogne-sur-Mer (Pas-de-Calais) – who confirms that in the case of any suspicion of criminality, it would have been “immediately notified and would have opened an investigation.”
“We can not stop an investigation. In France, prosecutors can investigate even if the victim does not agree,” he insists.
In short, if the Europhobic leader suspects an assassination attempt (he has the right, after all), it can not be based on assertions made by either the mechanics or the French police. Who have, themselves, never in the least suspected anything like this.