France’s minister of justice charged with suspected conflict of interest
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France’s minister of justice charged with suspected conflict of interest

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The French Minister of Justice, Eric Dupond-Moretti, was charged on Friday by magistrates of the Court of Justice of the Republic who are investigating possible conflicts of interest with his former activities as a criminal lawyer, his lawyers announced.

This indictment is unprecedented for a minister of justice in office.

“His explanations were unfortunately not enough to reverse this decision taken before the hearing. We will now obviously challenge this indictment,” said Christophe Ingrain, one of the minister’s lawyers, who added that he intends to file a request for nullity.

The former barrister is suspected of having taken advantage of his position as minister to settle accounts with magistrates with whom he had a falling out when he was a lawyer, claims which he refutes.

The first case concerns the administrative investigation ordered in September by the Minister of Justice against three magistrates of the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office who had his detailed telephone records examined when he was still a star lawyer in the courts.

In the second case, the Justice Minister is accused of having initiated administrative proceedings against a former investigating judge seconded to Monaco, Edouard Levrault, who had indicted one of his former clients and whose “cowboy” methods he had criticised after the magistrate spoke out in a report.

The Brussels Times