Fillon case: Paris Attorney General says she received “no instructions from the executive”

The Paris attorney general assured Thursday that she had received “no instruction from the executive power” to influence the Fillon case, after remarks by the ex-chief of the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) Eliane Houlette which have aroused accusations. of “instrumentalization” of justice.

“In the Fillon case, as in all other files under my hierarchical control, I did not receive any instructions from the Directorate of Criminal Affairs and Pardons (DACG), no instructions from the executive power and (…) I did not “I never relayed a request from the Minister of Justice or the executive to influence a procedure,” said Catherine Champrenault before the National Assembly’s commission of inquiry on the independence of the judiciary.

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She was heard for the second time by the deputies, Mrs. Houlette having sown the disorder on June 10 by evoking, before this same commission, the “very close control” that would have exercised the general prosecutor’s office, its direct supervisory authority, in the conduct of investigations.

Ms. Houlette had in particular mentioned “requests for rapid transmission” of the investigative acts or the hearings and revealed that she had been summoned by the public prosecutor’s office, who argued that the investigation should be entrusted to an investigating judge.

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“We should not give in to the ease of rewriting history,” said Champrenault vehemently.

“The monitoring of public action by the Attorney General, far from being pressure, constitutes the normal, institutional, legal and even ethical mode of operation for all the magistrates of the public prosecutor’s office,” she explained. .

Recalling the context of the opening of the preliminary inquiry into Mr. Fillon on January 25, 2017, “three months before the presidential election”, the Attorney General pointed out that the acts of investigation were “carried out “.

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According to Ms. Champrenault, in this case, until the opening of the judicial investigation on February 24, 2017, the DACG made “two requests” aimed at “the results of the acts of investigation but never” before. In addition, “nine transmissions” were “sent directly” by the PNF to the general prosecutor’s office, “spontaneously”, while the general prosecutor’s office made “four requests for information”.

If Parliament decides to suppress such feedback, “effectively we will apply and we will not do anything further,” said the Attorney General. However, “I have been a public prosecutor for 40 years and there is no parliament that has taken this decision, so do not blame me for applying the law of the Republic”, she said. squeaked.

“I know they would like to make me say that we opened an information to resign Mr. Fillon,” continued Ms. Champrenault. “But his defense asked for an opening of judicial information”, from “February 9,” she observed.

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Given favorite in the presidential election, the cantor of the conservative right had been eliminated in the first round after a campaign undermined by this affair.

“This case deserved to be referred to an investigating judge, who was more independent because of his status,” she said.

According to Ms. Champrenault, Ms. Houlette felt while conducting this investigation “psychological pressure”, “which was after all quite normal because her investigation could indeed be fraught with consequences”. “But we must not confuse psychological pressure with illegitimate pressure,” she insisted.

02/07/2020 15:34:23 – Paris (AFP) – © 2020 AFP

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