World, Europe

Top French politicians face probe over virus response

Paris court launches proceedings into 3 senior figures, including ex-PM, for lack of management during coronavirus crisis

Cindi Cook   | 07.07.2020
Top French politicians face probe over virus response

PARIS

A French top court opened an official investigation on Tuesday into three of France's top politicians over their dealings with the coronavirus pandemic.

The proceedings involve former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, former Health Minister Agnes Buzyn, and her replacement Olivier Veran for their ministerial management of the coronavirus crisis, or lack thereof.

A press release from the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR) stated that the proceedings are in accordance with the decision rendered by the complaints commission last Friday. A total of 90 complaints have been filed thus far with the CJR against the government, nine of which have been rendered admissible to the court.

The CJR is the sole judiciary body allowed to put members of the government on trial.

Philippe answered in a statement that he would provide the commission with "all the answers and information necessary to understand his action and that of his government."

As one at the head of the epidemic that had France as its epicenter, Philippe has been under fire for everything from the shortage of personal protective equipment and surgical masks for front line health care workers to accusations of "manslaughter".

The coronavirus pandemic has killed 29,920 people in France, with total infections reaching just over 168,000, according to figures compiled by the Health Ministry.

After originating in China last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has spread to 188 countries and regions across the world, killing almost 539,000. The virus has infected some 11.65 million people while 6.33 million people have recovered. The US, Brazil and India are currently the worst-hit regions.

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