At the end of an unprecedented trial, the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR) rendered its decision on Wednesday November 29 concerning Eric Dupond-Moretti, who plays his place within the government.
The Minister of Justice, who remained on duty during his ten days of trial but who had not missed a single hearing, will be present at the Paris courthouse to hear the decision, at 3 p.m.
The CJR’s decision has already been recorded, even if it is kept secret: the judges met immediately after the trial, on November 16, to deliberate. Before reading it in public, the three professional magistrates and the 12 parliamentarians from all sides who make up the court must meet one last time in the morning, to validate its wording.
The prosecution requested a one-year suspended prison sentence, considering ” belief “ that Eric Dupond-Moretti was indeed guilty of illegal taking of interests by opening, as minister, administrative investigations targeting four magistrates whom he had criticized when he was a lawyer – triggering an unprecedented complaint from the unions of the judiciary.
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A threat to his political future
The minister is not “guilty of nothing”, responded his defense, pleading acquittal. But a conviction, even ” the lowest ” even “the most ridiculous”, “that would be enough” to train his “resignation”, argued his lawyers. As this decisive deadline for his political future approaches, Eric Dupond-Moretti is “serene”satisfied to have “could explain”assures those around him. ” For the first time ” since the start of his legal troubles a few months after his surprise appointment in the summer of 2020, “he defended himself and was defended”.
After this unprecedented trial – it is the first time that a serving Minister of Justice has been tried – Eric Dupond-Moretti took on the role of minister as if nothing had happened, carrying out meetings and traveling. And as the decision approaches, his cabinet prepares its weekend agenda… even if it means having to cancel everything if the minister is found guilty.
The Elysée has let nothing filter through on its intentions in the event of conviction of the minister, kept in office despite the indictment and referral to court. “We have a life like others and we are litigants like others and therefore we have the right to the presumption of innocence like others”government spokesperson Olivier Véran declared on Franceinfo on Tuesday, speaking of Eric Dupond-Moretti but also of the Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, who is currently being tried for favoritism. “That’s not why the French don’t have confidence in politicians”assured Mr. Véran.
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Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne ruled out in October the possibility that Eric Dupond-Moretti would remain in government in the event of conviction, citing a “clear rule” Already ” applied “in reference to Minister Alain Griset, who resigned in 2021 after his conviction.
New “complaint” from Marine Le Pen
Tuesday afternoon, for his last session of questions to the government in the National Assembly before the CJR’s decision, Eric Dupond-Moretti in any case did not choose to be discreet. In response to a question from a deputy of the National Rally (RN), he launched into a violent charge against the“indecent demagoguery” of the party, which he called to “to drive out from one’s ranks” THE “identitarian, ___llon, racist and anti-Semitic”. Furious, the RN deputies left the hemicycle and Marine Le Pen announced ” a complaint ” against the minister.
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During his trial, Mr. Dupond-Moretti showed himself as usual, letting nothing escape and submitting the prosecution’s witnesses to a backdrop of grunts, exasperated sighs and indignant exclamations. “Sorry, I’m a little excited.”, the former tenor of the bar, now aged 62, apologized to the court. Before the CJR, he kept swearing that he had gone far ” behind him ” his old disagreements with the magistrates, having only one goal left, “succeed in his ministry”. For the rest, he insisted: ” I do not care. “
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Le Monde with AFP