The historic trial of Éric Dupond-Moretti before the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR) restarts this Monday the only court authorized to judge members of the government. For the first time, a sitting minister will face the fifteen judges who make up the CJR. In the dock for illegal acquisition of interests, the Minister of Justice risks five years in prison and a fine of 500,000 euros, as well as a sentence of ineligibility and a ban on holding public office.
Created in July 1993 to replace the High Court of Justice, the Court of Justice of the Republic opened its first trial in 1999, when it had to try three former ministers involved in the tainted blood affair. In all, eight ministers and two secretaries of state were brought before the special court.
1999 - Laurent Fabius, Georgina Dufoix and Edmond Hervé in the tainted blood affair
On 9 February 1999, three members of the government marked the history of the Fifth Republic by inaugurating the first trial of the Court of Justice of the Republic. Former Prime Minister Laurent Fabius (1984-1986), former Minister of Social Affairs Georgina Dufoix and Edmond Hervé, then Secretary of State for Health, appeared before the court. Accused of inaction in the 1980s when hundreds of people received blood transfusions contaminated with the AIDS virus, the three politicians are being prosecuted for manslaughter and unintentional injury. On 9 March 1999, Laurent Fabius and his former Minister of Social Affairs were acquitted, while Edmond Hervé was found guilty of "breach of an obligation of safety or prudence" but was exempted from punishment. The controversial decision provoked widespread criticism of the CJR, which became the symbol of a justice system that was complacent towards the authorities.
1999 - Ségolène Royal accused of defamation
The case seems trivial. However, she brought Ségolène Royal before the judges of the Court of Justice of the Republic in 1999. Two years earlier, the socialist was accused of defamation by two teachers at the Lycée Thiers in Marseille as part of a hazing case. At the time, she pointed to the "complicity of adults" in the hazing of students in preparatory classes for the Veterinary School exam, without expressly naming the teachers involved. This did not prevent the parties concerned from suing him for defamation. Ségolène Royal was finally acquitted in May 2000, the Court having considered that she had provided "perfect and complete proof" of her accusation.
2004 - Michel Gillibert convicted of fraud to the detriment of the State
After a ten-year investigation, the Secretary of State for Disabled Persons under François Mitterrand was finally found guilty of fraud to the detriment of the State in July 2004. Between 1988 and 1993, Michel Gillibert managed to embezzle 8.5 million francs in public subsidies through associations set up ad hoc. By sentencing the former secretary of state to a three-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of 20,000 euros, the CJR imposes a sentence on an accused for the first time. The former businessman was also stripped of his right to vote for a period of five years as well as his eligibility.
2010 - One year in prison for Charles Pasqua in the Sofremi case
April 30, 2010. At the age of 83, Jacques Chirac's emblematic Minister of the Interior, Charles Pasqua (1993-1995), was sentenced to a one-year suspended prison sentence for embezzlement. Found guilty in only one of the three cases of embezzlement for which he was prosecuted, the former first cop of France receives a sentence for complicity in the abuse of company assets and complicity in concealment in the case of the contracts of Sofremi, a police equipment company linked to the Interior. Charles Pasqua is acquitted of the Annemasse casino and the GEC-Alsthom group.
2016 - Christine Lagarde accused of "negligence" in the Tapie-Crédit Lyonnais arbitration
Seventeen years after the trial of Edmond Hervé, the Court of Justice of the Republic once again pronounces the guilt of an accused without exempting a sentence. This time, it is the former Minister of the Economy Christine Lagarde (2007-2011) who is accused of her "negligence" in the arbitration between Bernard Tapie and Crédit Lyonnais in 2007. The current president of the European Central Bank has been criticised for having agreed in 2007 to the procedure between Bernard Tapie and Crédit Lyonnais, which had allowed the businessman to pocket 403 million euros of public money.
2019 - Jean-Jacques Urvoas, guilty of "violation of professional secrecy"»
In 2019, four years before Éric-Dupond-Moretti, Jean-Jacques Urvoas became the first Minister of Justice to appear before the Court of Justice of the Republic. Briefly Minister of Justice between 2016 and 2017, the socialist was sentenced in 2019 to a one-month suspended prison sentence and a fine of 5,000 euros for "violation of professional secrecy". The former tenant of Place Vendôme was found guilty of having shared in 2017 with Thierry Solère, then a member of parliament for Les Républicains, information about an investigation for tax fraud and influence peddling to which he was subject.
2021 - Édouard Balladur and François Léotard
Founder of the Court of Justice of the Republic in 1993, the former Prime Minister of the RPR (1993-1995) paid the price twenty-eight years later. Alongside François Léotard, his Minister of Defence, Édouard Balladur was accused of his participation in a secret financing scheme in the service of the 1995 presidential campaign. Accused of "complicity in the misuse of company assets" and "concealment", he was eventually acquitted. His former colleague, also accused of "complicity in the misuse of company assets", was sentenced to a two-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of 100,000 euros.