World

Court clears France’s justice minister of conflict of interest

Eric Dupond-Moretti had denied wrongdoing (Pool/AP)
Eric Dupond-Moretti had denied wrongdoing (Pool/AP) Eric Dupond-Moretti had denied wrongdoing (Pool/AP)

A special court has cleared France’s justice minister of a conflict of interest, ruling he was not guilty of having used his office to settle personal scores.

Once a high-profile lawyer, Eric Dupond-Moretti was accused of abusing his position to order probes targeting magistrates who investigated him, his friends and his former clients.

Wednesday’s ruling marked a political victory for Mr Dupond-Moretti, who had denied wrongdoing and refused to resign before or during his two-week trial.

He was tried in a court for alleged wrongdoing by the government, the Court of Justice of the Republic.

Three professional magistrates joined by 12 members of parliament – six from the lower house and six from the senate – deliberated over the case and issued the ruling.

The proceedings marked the first time in modern France that a government minister was put on trial while still in office, according to legal historians.