France to launch inquiry into ex-PM, ministers over coronavirus

WION Web Team
Paris, France Published: Jul 03, 2020, 11.26 PM(IST)

France President Emmanuel Macron Photograph:( AFP )

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Philippe was replaced on Friday in the first stage of a government reshuffle. Other ministers under investigation are former health minister Agnes Buzyn -- who stepped down in February for an unsuccessful bid to become mayor of Paris -- and her successor Olivier Veran.

A French court will open an inquiry into former prime minister Edouard Philippe and two cabinet ministers over their handling of the coronavirus crisis. The inquiry will be led by the Law Court of the Republic (CJR), which deals with claims of ministerial misconduct.

Philippe was replaced on Friday in the first stage of a government reshuffle. Other ministers under investigation are former health minister Agnes Buzyn -- who stepped down in February for an unsuccessful bid to become mayor of Paris -- and her successor Olivier Veran.

Veran was health minister during the peak of the crisis. It is not clear if he will keep his job in the reshuffle expected to be finalised in the coming days.

The inquiry will consider whether Philippe, Buzyn and Veran neglected their duties in the face of a disaster.

The CJR has received 90 complaints and examined 53 of them. It considered nine complaints admissible, which will form the basis of the inquiry. The complaints were filed by private individuals, doctors, associations and even prisoners.

The coronavirus outbreak has left 29,875 people dead in France so far, and has sparked anger against the government over a lack of protective equipment in the early stages of the pandemic.

(with inputs from AFP)

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