The Minister of Justice did not wish to speak following the pleadings of his two lawyers on Thursday. A one-year suspended prison sentence had been requested the day before against the former tenor of the bar.
He who had been so talkative during his trial opted for silence on the last day of the proceedings. “I have nothing to add, Mr. President”, declared Eric Dupond-Moretti after the pleadings of his lawyers, Thursday, November 16, before the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR). The Minister of Justice, on trial ten days ago for illegal taking of interests, will be decided on his fate on November 29. A one-year suspended prison sentence was requested against him by the public prosecutor.
During their pleadings, Eric Dupond-Moretti’s lawyers denounced “inanity” accusations brought against him “who was, in another life, the pride of (there) profession of lawyer”, “the courtroom artist”, of which “life has turned upside down” when he was chosen, in July 2020, to be Keeper of the Seals. Pleading from the defense benches, Jacqueline Laffont recognized that it had not always been easy, during this trial, to temper the moods of this unusual client. But this “spontaneity” and even this “impulsiveness” sign, according to her, the innocence of the accused minister, whose release she requested.
“He is neither a man of blows nor a man of dissimulation. Duplicity is foreign to him. Everything that is low blows, calculations, is absolutely foreign to him.”Jacqueline Laffont, defense lawyer
during his pleading before the CJR
With her colleague Rémi Lorrain, the lawyer deconstructed the prosecution’s demonstration, during the indictment, on the offense of illegal taking of interests. The day before, Rémy Heitz and Philippe Lagauche had explained that in this matter, “the cellphone”namely revenge by the minister against magistrates with whom he had had trouble when he was a lawyer, was not even “not necessary to characterize the offense”. “Performing the act with full knowledge of the facts is sufficient”they assured.
“You must have knowingly wanted to commit an act”, “abused his position”, “compromising the public interest, endangered due to the search for personal profit”opposed the minister’s advice, recalling that in this case, Eric Dupond-Moretti was not “not originally” of the initial investigation requested on these magistrates by his predecessor Nicole Belloubet and that he had only followed the “recommendations of his administration” by subsequently ordering administrative investigations.
To demonstrate the absence “of moral interest” of Eric Dupond-Moretti in these investigations, Rémi Lorrain stressed that the criticisms formulated when he was a lawyer were not aimed “not directly” these magistrates. “When he talks about ‘barbouzard investigation'” in the affair of the fadettes, “When does he appoint a member of the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF)?”, he asked himself. And the lawyer jokes about the fact that the PNF magistrate who opened the fadettes investigation was not targeted by the administrative investigation: “It’s a curious revenge to take revenge against the wrong people.”
“We are on the verge of saying: there are two things that Eric Dupond-Moretti does not like in life: spinach and the PNF. We are there!”Rémi Lorrain, defense lawyer
during his pleading before the CJR
“Who took revenge on whom in this matter?”supported her colleague. “It was indeed a war that was declared against him. To obtain what? To obtain his resignation”pleaded Jacqueline Laffont, in allusion to the comments of the Union Syndicale des Magistrates, which had qualified the appointment of Eric Dupond-Moretti as “declaration of war against the judiciary”.
The criminal lawyer, experienced in political cases, ordered the 15 judges of the CJR, including 12 parliamentarians, to examine the evidence when they rule on the guilt of the minister: “The question is simple: it is whether, yes or no, you can think and be certain, without having the slightest doubt, that Eric Dupond-Moretti is guilty of an illegal taking of interests and “When he arrived at the Ministry of Justice, he had in mind to take revenge on the magistrates.” This exceptional jury has two weeks to answer this question and render a long-awaited decision.
Gn Fr headline