Carlos Ghosn Case: Court charges French ex-minister over corruption

Written by on July 28, 2021

Former French minister once tipped to become the country’s first woman president, Rachida Dati, is accused both of “passive corruption by a person holding an elective mandate” and of “benefiting from abuse of power” in relation to consulting work she did for Ghosn from 2010 to 2012 when she was also an MP in the European Parliament.

According to a source close to the investigation, Dati received 900,000 euros ($1.06 million) in lawyer’s fees during that period. The investigation is seeking to ascertain if this was purely for legal work or whether she was actually engaged in lobbying, which would be illegal for European lawmakers.

According to reporters, Dati’s contract committed her to helping with Renault’s international expansion, especially in the Middle East and northern Africa, and she asked for the work to be kept strictly confidential.

Dati, who is now mayor of Paris’s 7th district for the right-wing The Republicans (LR) party served as justice minister in Sarkozy’s government between 2007 and 2009 and was also his election campaign spokesperson.

Since the summer of 2019 three judges had been investigating contracts agreed by the Dutch subsidiary of Renault Nissan when Ghosn was chief executive of the group.

Dati was questioned by prosecutors as an ‘assisted witness’ over the corruption allegations for 16 hours in November 2020.

She was charged with the offences on Tuesday July 27 2021. Her lawyers have not commented on the most recent allegations. However, her defence team has previously argued that all of her income was declared and that a three-year statute of limitations should apply.

France’s financial crimes unit disagreed and pursued its case that had been triggered by a legal complaint from a Renault shareholder.

Earlier this month, investigating magistrates interrogated her again, and brought the charges. If found guilty, she faces up to 15 years in prison.

 



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