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Court clears France's justice minister of conflict of interest

FILE - French Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti arrives for a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe, as part of the commemorations marking the 105th anniversary of the Nov. 11, 1918 Armistice, ending World War I, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023 in Paris. A special court cleared Tuesday, Nov.29, 2023 France's justice minister Eric Dupond-Moretti, ruling he was not guilty of having used his office to settle personal scores. (Ludovic Marin/Pool via AP, File)

PARIS (AP) — A special court has cleared France’s justice minister of conflict of interest, ruling he was not guilty of having used his office to settle personal scores.

Once a high-profile lawyer, Eric Dupond-Moretti was accused of abusing his position to order probes targeting magistrates who investigated him, his friends and his former clients.

Wednesday’s ruling marked a political victory for Dupond-Moretti, who had denied wrongdoing and refused to resign before or during his two-week trial.

He was tried in a court for alleged wrongdoing by the government, the Court of Justice of the Republic. Three professional magistrates joined by 12 members of parliament — six from the lower house and six from the Senate — deliberated the case and issued the ruling.

The proceedings marked the first time in modern France that a government minister was put on trial while still in office, according to legal historians.

The Associated Press

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