European Commission sends Cressonfor European Court trial

20th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, July 19 (AFP) - The European Commission said Monday it had decided to press charges against former French prime minister Edith Cresson before the European Court of Justice over alleged abuse of office when she served as a commissioner in the late 1990s.

BRUSSELS, July 19 (AFP) - The European Commission said Monday it had decided to press charges against former French prime minister Edith Cresson before the European Court of Justice over alleged abuse of office when she served as a commissioner in the late 1990s.  

"The Commission has decided to ask the court to determine if Mrs Cresson failed in her duties as a member of the Commission," a statement said.  

The charges against her relate to alleged "clear favouritism and negligence".  

"This decision follows an intensive analysis of all the elements available to the commission and a hearing of Mrs Cresson and her lawyers on June 30," the commission statement said.  

Cresson was prime minister under President Francois Mitterrand from 1991-1992 and a commissioner from 1994-1999 when she was responsible for education and research.   Controversy surrounded the circumstances under which her dentist Rene Berthelot was employed by her office. It was one of the factors that led to the collective resignation of the commission in 1999.   

Last month a Belgian court dropped all charges against her relating to the alleged corruption scandal.  

"The Belgian court decided that there was no case to pursue on the grounds of fraud and falsification in a case submitted to it," the commission statement said.  

"The referral to the court (of justice) is based on allegations of 'clear favouritism and negligence' in cases concerning two people.  

"The allegations... are different, even if they are linked to some of the same incidents."   Cresson has been under investigation since she left office. This is the first time that a sitting or former commissioner has been sent before the Court of Justice.

 

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

 

 

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