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French Justice Minister's Acquittal Sparks Political Debate

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Mahnoor Jehangir
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French Justice Minister's Acquittal Sparks Political Debate

French Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti has been acquitted by a special court in a landmark ruling, marking the first time in modern France a government minister has faced trial while still in office. Dupond-Moretti, a former high-profile lawyer, was accused of using his ministerial position to target magistrates who had previously investigated him, his friends, and his former clients. This acquittal has sparked a political debate, with Julien Odoul, a deputy of the Yonne department and member of the National Rally (Rassemblement National, RN), questioning Dupond-Moretti's retention in his ministerial position.

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Contextualising the Case

The case against Dupond-Moretti was heard by the Cour de Justice de la Republique, a judicial entity established in 1993 to deal with alleged offenses committed by government officials in the exercise of their powers. Despite the gravity of the charges, which could have seen Dupond-Moretti facing up to five years in prison, a €500,000 fine, and a ban on holding public office, Dupond-Moretti maintained his innocence and refused to resign.

Implications for Macron's Government

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The case and subsequent acquittal have significant implications for French President Emmanuel Macron's government. Macron, who ascended to power in 2017 with a promise to clean up politics, supported Dupond-Moretti throughout the trial. The Justice Minister's acquittal marks a political victory not only for Dupond-Moretti but also for Macron's administration. However, this has not quelled the scrutiny and questioning from political rivals like Julien Odoul.

Dupond-Moretti's Controversial Tenure

Known for his outspoken personality and illustrious legal career prior to politics, Dupond-Moretti has been a contentious figure in Macron's cabinet. His tenure as Justice Minister has been marked by controversy, with critics like Odoul publicly calling out his 'disastrous record'. Despite these criticisms and the recent trial, Dupond-Moretti remains a staunch supporter of Macron, maintaining his position within the cabinet and continuing to influence French politics.

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