The president of the French-speaking bar association in Brussels, Stephane Boonen, “is investigating” the Chodiev/De Decker case, “to check whether rules governing attorney behaviour were respected,” he told Belga news agency on Tuesday. There is no question of a disciplinary investigation as yet, added Mr. Boonen. The president of the bar interviewed Mr. De Decker about his intervention in the defence of the business interests of Patokh Chodiev and associates.
The Canard Enchainé maintained that Armand De Decker received up to half a million euros to defend the interests of the Belgian-Kazakh businessman. The amount was registered within a private limited liability company set up in September 2011, a few months before Parliament passed legislation on penal transactions which benefited Chodiev, according to the French paper.
Uccle alderman denies having ever received that sum of money but refused to reveal the actual amount, saying it was a question of professional confidentiality.
In particular, the president is looking at “article 5.20 §2 of the ethics code, which states that in the matter of fees, attorneys must respect article 446(3) of the judicial code and the principle of restraint it affirms.” Mr. Boonen wonders as well “whether practising as a lawyer in the way Mr. De Decker has in this case, is compatible with parliamentary functions, in light of article 438 of the judicial code and the Act of 6 August 1931 defining conflicts of interest and restrictions for ministers and state ministers, as well as for members of parliament and former members of parliament.”
Stephane Boonen charged a former president of the bar with submitting a report after speaking with Armand De Decker and gathering “any information he deems necessary.”