Parliament lifts immunity of former minister Damien Abad accused of rape
The parliamentary immunity of deputy Damien Abad, targeted by rape charges, was lifted on Wednesday by the office of the National Assembly. The former Minister of Solidarity, Autonomy and Disabled People, said he was “favorable” to this decision “in order to be able to answer the questions of the investigators” within the framework of the preliminary investigation underway in Paris.
It is a decision that opens the way to custody or judicial review. The parliamentary immunity of deputy and former minister Damien Abad, targeted by rape charges, was lifted on Wednesday May 24 by a unanimous decision of the office of the National Assembly, its highest collegiate body.
Justice had made this request for waiver of immunity as part of a preliminary investigation underway in Paris, and Damien Abad had said himself “favorable” to it.
>> To read also: Damien Abad case: justice opens an investigation for attempted rape
There was no debate during the meeting of the Bureau of the Assembly. The patroness of the Renaissance deputies, Aurore Bergé, who was present, then indicated: “the position of our group is constant: parliamentary immunity must be systematically lifted when the facts do not concern our parliamentary work”.
“So we were obviously in favor of lifting Damien Abad’s immunity,” she added.
Short-lived government minister
Immunity protects parliamentarians from any coercive measure but does not prevent indictments.
Requests for waiver of immunity are formulated by the public prosecutor’s office and transmitted by the Keeper of the Seals to the president of the parliamentary chamber concerned. The office decides on the “serious, loyal and sincere” character of the request, not on the substance.
Damien Abad, elected representative of Ain, assures him: “from the opening of the preliminary investigation, I always said that I was at the disposal of justice in order to be able to answer the questions of the investigators and thus confirm my innocence in the face of the ignoble calumnies of which I am the target”.
The former leader of the LR deputies had been appointed in May 2022 Minister of Solidarity, Autonomy and People with Disabilities, which was then a clever take on the right of President Emmanuel Macron.
The day after his appointment, Mediapart relayed accusations of rape against him, dating from 2010 and 2011. The complaints were closed in 2012 and then in 2017.
But at the end of June 2022, a complaint was once again filed, leading to the opening of the preliminary investigation in Paris for attempted rape.
Damien Abad, re-elected MP for a third term, left the government in early July. The “conditions of serenity” were “no longer present”, explained Olivier Véran, spokesperson for the government.