France’s financial crimes unit said Tuesday it had charged prominent rightwinger Rachida Dati, a former cabinet minister and close ally of ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, over her dealings with disgraced former Renault chief Carlos Ghosn.
She is accused both of “passive corruption by a person holding an elective mandate” and of “benefiting from abuse of power” in relation to consulting work she did for Ghosn from 2010 to 2012, when she was also an MP in the European Parliament.
According to a source close to the investigation, Dati received 900,000 euros ($1.06 million) in lawyer’s fees during that period.
The investigation is seeking to ascertain if this was purely for legal work or whether she was actually engaged in lobbying, which would be illegal for European lawmakers.
According to Le Monde newspaper, Dati’s contract committed her to help with Renault’s international expansion, especially in the Middle East and northern Africa. Dati asked for the work to be kept strictly confidential, Le Monde said.
Dati, who is now mayor of Paris’s 7th district for the right-wing The Republicans (LR) party and sometimes tipped as a future presidential candidate, served as justice minister in Sarkozy’s government between 2007 and 2009 and was also his election campaign spokesperson.
Since the summer of 2019 three judges had been investigating contracts agreed by the Dutch subsidiary of Renault Nissan when Ghosn was the chief executive of the group.
Dati was questioned in the case for 16 hours in November but not formally charged, instead of given the status of an assisted witness.
The original full article can be found at france24.com
(Photo: Thomas Coex, AFP/Archives)