Correspondent in Paris
The Court of Justice of the Republic (TJR, Cour de justice de la République), an exceptional court created in France to prosecute and prosecute ministers in office, has decided to indict Eric Dupond-Moretti, head of Justice, for alleged crimes of conflict of interest, misappropriation of public funds and favorable treatment.
The TJR suspects that the Minister from Emmanuel Macron
He was able to take advantage of his position to somehow favor the investigation of processes in which he himself was involved as a very combative lawyer.
Historical scoop: it is the first time that a French Minister of Justice, in office, is indicted for alleged crimes committed since he was appointed, in this case on July 6, 2020.
Failure in regionals
Eric Dupond-Moretti was a attorney famous and controversial until Macron appointed him Minister of Justice. Since then, a year ago, the former lawyer moderated his public interventions, willingly submitted to government discipline, and was a candidate unfortunate in the recent regional elections, which took place last June and in which he ran in Hauts-de-France.
For weeks it was taken for granted that the minister would finally be indicted for alleged crimes of conflict of interest, misappropriation of public funds and favorable treatment. Dupond-Moretti was questioned yesterday for six hours. The TJR considered that, in the end, their answers did not clarify the underlying suspicions in any way. Christophe Ingrain, his defense lawyer, reacted in this way to the news of the indictment: “His statements were not enough to reverse a decision taken before the hearing. We are going to answer the Court’s decision. We will file an appeal for annulment. “
Resistance to resign
The indictment does not prejudge in any way the process and final sentence, at a still distant and unpredictable date. On the contrary, the judicial calendar coincides with the electoral calendar. And it runs the risk of significantly splashing the presidential campaign of Emmanuel Macron for the 2022 elections, whose first round will take place in April.
Will the accused minister resign or not resign? Dupond-Moretti declared days ago that resigning would be little less than acknowledging the “falsehood” of alleged crimes, saying that he was willing to prove his “perfect innocence of totally imaginary alleged crimes.”
Ten months before the next presidential election, the minister and the government of Emmanuel Macron run the risk of a systematic trickle of revelations that could only contribute to taint a complicated presidential campaign.