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French justice minister faces trial on conflict of interest charge

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
France's Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti arrives at the Arc de Triomphe to attend the ceremonies marking the Allied victory against Nazi Germany and the end of World War II in Europe (VE Day), in Paris, France, May 8, 2022. (Photo by Reuters)

Eric Dupond-Moretti will have to stand trial in a conflict of interest case that has been an embarrassment for President Emmanuel Macron's government, his lawyers said Monday, adding they immediately appealed the move.

Eric Dupond-Moretti, who was one of France's most famous criminal lawyers before President Emmanuel Macron made him justice minister, is accused of having used his position to act against personal rivals within the judiciary, which he denies.

The judicial body, the Court of Justice of the Republic, deals with suspected crimes or offences committed by members of the government during the exercise of their functions. Since its creation in 1993, it has only held eight formal trials.

Past defendants before the jury, which is composed of lawmakers and judges of France's highest court, the Court de Cassation, have included former finance minister and current head of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde. She was found guilty of negligence over a government payout.

Dupond-Moretti joined the French government in 2020 after being a vocal critic of what he said were France's excessively lengthy criminal trial proceedings and its overcrowded prisons.

(Source: AFP)

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