The homes and offices of ministers and former ministers were searched as part of the judicial investigation opened by the Court of Justice of the Republic on July 3.
On the morning of October 15, house searches were carried out on a number of high-ranking politicians and government officials, as part of the investigation into their handling of the pandemic.
At the same time, France has once again declared a state of emergency, due to Covid-19, and the inhabitants of several large cities are facing nightly curfews.
On July 3, the Court of Justice of the Republic opened a judicial investigation into the management of the Covid-19 crisis, on the charge of “abstaining from fighting a disaster”. In this context, searches were carried out on Thursday morning at the homes and respective offices of the Minister of Health Olivier Véran and the Director General of Health Jérôme Salomon, according to information from BFMTV.
Also, the homes of former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, the former Minister of Health Agnès Buzyn and the former government spokesperson Sibeth Ndiaye were searched.
These searches took place without incident and the legal proceedings are ongoing.
Of the approximately 90 complaints lodged against members of the government, only nine of them were deemed admissible.
The nine complaints relating to the sole charge were filed in early July with François Molins, Attorney General at the Court of Justice. The offence was created in 2000 and never really used before: It stipulates in article 223-7 of the Penal Code, a presupposition of an intention not to act on the part of the accused persons.
The Commission of Requests of the Court of Justice of the Republic is the only body capable of judging ministers for acts committed in the exercise of their missions. Composed of ten senior judges, it acts as a filter for complaints, most of them from individuals, associations or even unions.
According to information from French daily Le Monde, France had continued to destroy its stock of masks after the start of the Covid-19 epidemic.
The shortage of masks deeply marked the health crisis, at a time when many French people had the worst difficulties to provide themselves with this means of protection. On Thursday, May 7, the daily had exposed to the chaotic management of stocks by the executive.
According to information, Edouard Philippe’s advisers have indeed discovered that millions of masks from state reserves were burned while the country was plunged into a pandemic. Matignon eventually put an end to this massive destruction, but its share of responsibility for the shortage of masks for health workers is colossal.
“At the start of the crisis, the ministry told us they were ready (…). But we quickly realized that it was false,” Jean-Paul Hamon, president of the Federation of Doctors of France told FranceInfo.
As a reminder, ten years ago, France had a billion surgical masks and around 600 million FFP2 masks. When the coronavirus began to gain momentum, France had, in all and all, only 140 million stocks of the first. This situation was due to economic choices, a short-term strategy and a blind confidence in Chinese production.
A nursing collective, named C19, had told the media earlier that Édouard Philippe and his former Minister of Health had shown “culpable negligence” in the management of the Coronavirus.
The revelations of former health minister Agnès Buzyn according to which the government had been informed since January this year of the “tsunami” which was going to befall France, but did nothing, have been damning. Especially because she herself had described, on January 24, the “risk as of the spread of the Coronavirus in the population” as “very low”.
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