HASWhen the trial of Eric Dupond-Moretti opened on November 6, the complainants – the Anticor ociation and the magistrates’ unions SM and USM – who were behind the initiation of public action , will not be able to exercise the rights of civil parties. It is because they will only be witnesses, prohibited from pleading and questioning witnesses, gagged by the organic law of 1993 in violation of a fundamental principle, the right to a fair trial, that we, lawyers, take the speech.
Eric Dupond-Moretti, after a successful career as a criminal lawyer, became Keeper of the Seals. In a procedure dating from six years before his appointment, three magistrates from the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) examined the telephone records of around twenty people, including Mr. Dupond-Moretti. The phone numbers of the calls he made over a few days were examined.
The process may seem shocking in the case of a lawyer, and alone among the twenty he files a complaint for these old facts. However, the PNF’s investigation was legal and the complaint was dismissed for “absence of offense”, in an analysis which will be confirmed by the Paris Court of Appeal in parallel civil proceedings. But Eric Dupond-Moretti does not intend to stop there. These PNF magistrates, whom he denounced by name in the press in vehement terms, cannot get out of this so easily. So, he triggers a pre-disciplinary procedure against them. This is a serious act, which can lead ultimately to heavy penalties.
Fight against conflict of interest
Alas, on two occasions, the General Inspectorate of Justice will find no fault in the behavior of the three magistrates, any more than the Superior Council of the Judiciary (CSM), any more than Jean Castex and Elisabeth Borne when they will have to ess facts. The minister’s anger blinded the lawyer in his analysis. But, since the minister failed in his complaints, how serious are the facts?
Why were the National Conference of Attorneys General, the magistrates’ unions and the ministry’s own services concerned about this and warned him, before he launched the predisciplinary investigation, that such an act would would be prohibited? Why, once the fact was accomplished, did the High Authority for Transparency in Public Life and the CSM become concerned about these conflicts of interest and why did the general emblies of more than half of the courts in France vote motions calling for this behavior to stop?
You have 65% of this article left to read. The rest is reserved for subscribers.