A judicial investigation targeting the Keeper of the Seals Eric Dupond-Moretti for suspicion of “illegal taking of interests” related to his former duties as a lawyer was opened Wednesday at the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR), announced the prosecution general at the Court of Cassation. The public prosecutor’s office was required to open this judicial information after the favorable opinion issued on Friday by the requests commission of the CJR, composed of senior judges and which acts as a filter.
The latter ruled admissible the complaints lodged by the Anticor association and three magistrates ‘unions (SM, USM, SNM FO magistrates’ unit) who accuse the minister of conflicts of interest. The investigative committee of the CJR is now responsible for carrying out the investigations. It is made up of three magistrates from the Court of Cassation and is the only body empowered to investigate members of the government for actions carried out in the exercise of their function.
At issue: administrative proceedings initiated by the Minister
At the heart of the accusations against the minister, the administrative proceedings he ordered against two magistrates of the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) who had participated in a preliminary investigation aimed at identifying the mole who allegedly informed Nicolas Sarkozy and his lawyer Thierry Herzog that they were bugged. During these investigations, detailed telephone bills of several lawyers, including that of the future minister, had been examined.
One of these complaints also accuses the Minister of having opened another administrative investigation against Judge Edouard Levrault who had denounced, after the end of his functions as an investigating judge in Monaco, having been pressured. Before becoming minister, Eric Dupond-Moretti had been the lawyer for one of the police officers indicted by this magistrate and had criticized the judge’s methods.
Until then, no reaction from Dupond-Moretti
Asked on January 7 about the complaints of the magistrates’ unions, the Minister of Justice had indicated: “I do not know what fate will be reserved for him, but know that when the time comes, I will explain myself, you can count on me to say all I have to say ”. Solicited on Friday, the minister’s entourage declined to make more comments. The government had “taken note” Monday of the announced opening of the judicial investigation.
This Wednesday, another investigation into illegal taking of interest was opened by the PNF against a member of the government. This is Sébastien Lecornu, Minister of Overseas Affairs, on a case concerning the time when he was the President of the Eure Department. These two cases involving members of the government have nothing to do with each other.
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