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has the High Authority for transparency gone too fast?

11:45 p.m., October 10, 2020

Boomerang return? In the heavy fire of attacks against the Minister of Justice Eric Dupond-Moretti, the High Authority for the Transparency of Political Life (HATVP) made its mark this week by asking it for “details” on “possible conflicts of interest” and by making this initiative public. But on closer inspection, it is perhaps the institution which, in doing so, is guilty of an offense. Thursday, Agence France-Presse (AFP) said it had “learned from the HATVP” that a letter had been sent to Eric Dupond-Moretti, without revealing anything other than the hypothesis of a conflict of interest that would be mentioned therein.

Read also – TRIBUNE. “The attacks against Eric Dupond-Moretti are reminiscent of those against Robert Badinter”

The information was immediately taken up by almost all the media, adding an episode to the soap opera controversies launched around the former lawyer who became Keeper of the Seals. In fact, the letter had been signed the day before by the president of the HATVP, Didier Migaud, and delivered to the minister under confidential cover. “I myself signed this request for clarification, as well as others intended for several other ministers, Didier Migaud confirmed Saturday at the JDD, it is a completely ordinary process.”

A period of one month to respond to an injunction

However, the 2013 law creating the High Authority seems to prohibit such rapid communication. By virtue of its article 10, the recipients of an injunction of the HATVP have one month to respond to it and it is only after this period that the institution “can decide to make public” the said injunction. In the case of Eric Dupond-Moretti, therefore, only one day has passed. “We only answered a question put to us,” Didier Migaud said yesterday, denying any anomaly and any intention to harm. The entourage of the Keeper of the Seals, however, speaks of a “stinking ball”, without wanting to comment on the approach of the HATVP.

In fact, Didier Migaud’s request aimed to question the Minister on the measures put in place to prevent possible conflicts of interest between the cases handled by him as a lawyer and the legal cases in progress. However, on September 29, the Chancellery had issued a circular strictly limiting the reporting of information by prosecutors in cases related to the former cabinet of Eric Dupond-Moretti, so that the question of the HATVP had become largely without object.

Another part of the letter concerned various additions to be made to the declaration of assets of the Keeper of the Seals. That same Thursday, Point revealed several details. “This information is not all exact, it does not come from us”, assures Didier Migaud, confident to be himself “astonished” and to have carried out “checks”. Question: if justice seeks the origin of the leak, will the minister be in conflict of interest?

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