(Bloomberg) -- France’s justice minister was cleared by a Paris court of accusations he abused his position in government to influence cases that he previously worked on as an attorney.
Throughout the scandal, President Emmanuel Macron has backed Eric Dupond-Moretti, one of his strongest supporters in cabinet, despite the 62-year-old having become the first sitting justice minister to face criminal trial. After the ruling,
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on social media that she was “delighted” that Dupond-Moretti could continue to serve in her government.
The special panel of judges that handles ministerial misconduct on Wednesday discarded accusations of unlawful conflicts of interest. They ruled that there wasn’t any evidence of any intent to break rules. Dupond-Moretti was accused of taking too close an interest in disciplinary proceedings targeting four French magistrates he had been at odds with as an attorney.
Macron’s initial appointment of Dupond-Moretti in 2020 was seen as a big win for the French president, who hoped to tap the popularity of perhaps the most well-known defense attorney in France. Dupond-Moretti kept his job as justice minister despite being charged in 2021 and was even reappointed after Macron picked a new prime minister following his reelection last year.
Macron has stood by other ministers as they faced accusations and even trial. Labor Minister Olivier Dussopt has been on trial since Nov. 27 over accusations of favoritism. He has denied wrongdoing.
In 2021, Alain Griset was found guilty of failing to properly declare his wealth before taking up his post as minister small and medium-sized companies. Griset immediately resigned from his ministerial position and fought on but his conviction was confirmed on appeal.
(Adds prime minister comment in second paragraph)
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