Rachida Dati is caught up by the investigation of the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office into the Renault-Nissan affair. The former minister of Nicolas Sarkozy was indicted on Tuesday, alert several media including Franceinfo and Le Parisien.
The former Minister of Justice and current LR mayor of the 7th arrondissement of Paris has been indicted for “passive corruption”, “passive influence peddling” and “concealment of abuse of power”, say the various media. According to franceinfo, his lawyer announced that he was going to appeal this indictment.
The elected official had initially escaped these prosecutions in November, after a first 16-hour interrogation of the investigating judges who then placed her under the intermediate status of assisted witness. Nine months later, she was finally summoned for a day of interrogation.
Three investigating judges have been in charge since the summer of 2019 of this anti-corruption investigation opened by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) on contracts concluded by the Dutch subsidiary of the Renault-Nissan alliance, RNBV, with Rachida Dati and the criminologist Alain Bauer, when Carlos Ghosn was still CEO of the group and Rachida Dati in the European Parliament.
They are interested in consulting services concluded by Renault Nissan BV (RNBV) with the former French minister and the criminologist, who deny any irregularity in the contracts.
According to a source familiar with the matter, Rachida Dati would have received 900,000 euros in fees as a lawyer between 2010 and 2012 when she was also a Member of the European Parliament at the time.
Investigators are now seeking to determine in particular whether these 900,000 euros in fees “correspond to specific activities or if it was a matter of convenience, having been able to hide lobbying activities, prohibited for MEPs”, explains franceinfo. Because she could have used her function to hide lobbying activities, which is strictly prohibited for any MEP, specifies Le Parisien.
A preliminary investigation had previously been opened by the PNF, after a complaint filed on April 17, 2019 by a Renault shareholder. This complaint targeted Rachida Dati, Alain Bauer, but also Carlos Ghosn and his wife.
Rachida Dati’s defense team responds that no element of her remuneration has been concealed and that therefore the three-year limitation period for these offenses has been acquired since 2017. However, the national financial prosecutor’s office has not opened the case. legal information only in 2019, after receiving a complaint from a Renault shareholder.
The lawyers also observe that neither the European Parliament, nor the High Authority for the Transparency of Public Life, nor the public prosecutor have decided to prosecute her even though accusations of conflicts of interest against her have been relayed by the press between 2009 and 2015.
In March, Rachida Dati’s lawyers formally asked the judges to note the prescription of the facts. But the magistrates not having followed their arguments, it is now up to the Court of Appeal to decide this question.