The former president of a university in southern France is currently standing trial on charges he accepted sexual favors and bribes from several Chinese students in exchange for admission.
The Chinese students “barely” spoke French but Laroussi Oueslati, the ex-president of the Institut d’Administration des Entreprises, in Toulon, France, granted them admission, anyway, according to a Le Monde-based account in The Telegraph.
The school over which Oueslati presided is an academically-selective graduate school of management.
Prosecutors say he granted admission to the students if they paid him a bribe of 3,000 euros — currently about $3,300.
Some students say they also engaged in “intimate relations” with Oueslati as part of their shady admissions deals.
Le Monde, a Paris daily, describes Oueslati as an “all-powerful” bureaucrat who had an “imposing personality which was hard to resist.”
The admitted Chinese students “clearly did not speak enough French to study at higher education level,” court documents say.
Former employees of the school said Oueslati set up a star-chamber admissions council of sorts that approved hundreds of applications but “rarely examined candidates’ academic records,” reports The Telegraph.
Oueslati faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to roughly $164,000 if he is found guilty.
He resigned his job as school president in 2009. It’s not clear why the wheels of French justice have churned for over 2,200 days in the case.
“I am not corrupt,” Oueslati told judges during a hearing on Monday.