December 1, 2023

France Justice Minister Acquitted for Abuse of Power

There is a case that was just settled in France that has a very familiar ring to it.

Minister of Justice Eric Dupond-Moretti had been charged with abuse of power for allegedly retaliating against some of his former opponents.

The verdict is in and France’s Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR) has acquitted Dupond-Moretti on all charges.

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Dupond-Moretti was appointed by President Macron in 2020.

After the appointment had been made, he was accused of opening up investigations for personal reasons against magistrates he had previously come into conflict with when he was an attorney.

The Minister of Justice was then charged with “illegal taking of interest.”

The president of the CJR, Dominique Pauthe, stated that the material element of the crime was present, but prosecutors were unable to prove that Dupond-Moretti had intent, so he was acquitted in the case.

As one would expect, Dupond-Moretti claimed that he never had the intent of exacting revenge with the investigations, and that he just wanted to turn the page and resume his duties.

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne agreed, stating that he would be able to return to regular duties now that the case against him had concluded.

It would seem that the United States is not alone in ethics investigations resulting in government officials walking away scot-free when the appearance of wrongdoing is there.

I cannot help but zero in on the comment that the “material element” of the crime was present, but they were unable to prove that intent was involved.

Perhaps I am a legal idiot, but if the material element was there, in a case such as this, how were they not able to prove intent?

I would suggest that if the investigations came up empty, the office was clearly being weaponized.

Put that case before a jury and let’s see if we come up with the same verdict.

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