The board of directors of the IHU of Strasbourg dismissed its director general Benoit Gallix from his functions Thursday, June 23 against the backdrop of strong tensions, after a report made by the latter to the national financial prosecutor’s office (PNF), a-t- we learned from consistent sources.
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«We have decided to end the mandate that (Benoit Gallix) has as Director General of the IHU with immediate effect“, indicated to AFP the president of the board of directors of the IHU, Philippe Richert. According to the former minister and former president of the Grand Est region, this decision was voted “unanimously, minus one vote against and one abstention“. In a statement, Professor Gallix, whose mandate ran until the end of 2023, took “act of the decision of the board of directors“, evoking a”direct retaliatory action“against the report made Monday to the PNF”on facts likely to take on various criminal qualifications».
This report, unveiled by the weekly Marianne, essentially concerns the financial flows between the IHU and Ircad, the Institute for research against cancers of the digestive tract in Strasbourg, directed by Professor Jacques Marescaux, who also directed the IHU until 2020. A former patient accommodation project is also concerned.
Climate of mistrust and lack of trust
Questioned by AFP, the PNF confirmed having received this report, without making further comments, and will decide later whether or not to open an investigation. “I drew the attention of the members of the Council to the fact that the law protects me as a whistleblower in the context of my duties, which did not seem to make them think“, told AFP Professor Gallix, ensuring that he had made numerous reports internally and with the State beforehand, which had no effect.
Philippe Richert, president of the IHU since the beginning of April, affirmed for his part that the dismissal procedure for Benoit Gallix had been initiated before the report to the PNF, because of a “climate of mistrust», of a «total lack of trust” and of “financial problems” with some “unauthorized expenses“. For its part, Ircad has “seize the public prosecutor of Strasbourg with a complaint for slanderous denunciation» and evokes «an attemptby Benoit Gallixto want to instrumentalize the situation to prevent his dismissal».
Specialized in image-guided surgery for pathologies of the digestive system, the IHU of Strasbourg was founded in November 2011 by both public actors, such as the University of Strasbourg and the University Hospitals of Strasbourg, and private players, such as Ircad or the ARC foundation for cancer research. There are six IHUs in France: three in Paris, one in Strasbourg, one in Bordeaux and one in Marseille, managed for a few more months by the controversial Didier Raoult.
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