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Indictment of Agnès Buzyn: the political class embarrassed in the workings – France

“It’s a situation that bothers me a lot. It is not a politician who says it but Laurent Berger, the secretary general of the CFDT, in a program for France Inter broadcast this Sunday.

And the trade unionist, “not at ease” with what he considers to be “a drift of democracy”, to stress that this indictment for “endangering the life of others” throws “a little to the popular vindictiveness of political leaders who undoubtedly did their job as best they could ”.

In the majority, the defense of the record of Agnès Buzyn, who “did all she could and undoubtedly more to protect us”, according to the deputy and spokesperson for LREM Roland Lescure, leaves room for more concern. deep, especially as the current Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, or the former Prime Minister, Édouard Philippe, are also in the sights.

“Obviously risks”

The decision of the CJR “creates a dangerous precedent”, estimates the deputy LREM Aurore Bergé: “Can a Minister of the Interior, tomorrow, be held criminally responsible for an attack which would be committed since a minister of Health seems to be able to be for the management of a global pandemic? “

A point of view shared beyond the presidential party. “When you are a politician, there is necessarily action, risks”, reacted on BFMTV, Damien Abad (LR) who wonders about the “increased judicialization of French political life”.

On the left, environmentalists and socialists have so far remained very discreet. “I do not think that it is in the courts that we will solve the problems”, ended up declaring the Communist Fabien Roussel, Saturday, on France Info.

Some rebellious elected officials welcomed this first major questioning in the management of the pandemic in France. “If there were mistakes, they must be sanctioned,” said RN president Marine Le Pen, who is launching her presidential campaign this weekend in Fréjus.

Political or criminal responsibility?

Whatever their political color, elected officials are “stuck”, believes Pierre Egea, professor of public law at Toulouse-Capitole University. “In public opinion, confidence in politicians is still very blunted and the only recourse that may appear objective, even if it is not, is the judge. “

But for this lawyer at the court, the decision of the CJR leads to a “confusion between political responsibility and criminal responsibility. It would not be very serious if the criminal offenses were not completely vague “but” “endangering the life of others”, it is so broad that it allows all-out indictments “.

For Anne Levade, professor of public law at the University of Paris-1, “it is rather incomprehension than embarrassment” which dominates among elected officials. “The question of an offense is not whether we have coped well or badly with a crisis, it is whether we have committed an act which is criminally reprehensible”.

Thirty years after the tainted blood scandal which led to the establishment of the CJR, “this kind of shift from political responsibility to criminal responsibility is very clearly a step backwards for political theory”, considers the lawyer.

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An exceptional jurisdiction contested for its leniency and doomed to disappear in a constitutional bill presented in 2019 to the Council of Ministers but which has not been examined, the CJR places on political action “an unreasonable risk”, considers Anne Levade who sums up the dilemma as follows: “You might as well do nothing, otherwise you will be sued. “

While affirming his “solidarity” with Agnès Buzyn, Claude Evin, former Minister of Health (1988-1991) indicted by the CJR for manslaughter in the case of contaminated blood before obtaining a dismissal, believes , him, that “this procedure is not abnormal when one is Minister of Health. Being politically responsible means taking risks ”.

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