” Well! Please sit down, the hearing is open ”, launches Eric Dupond-Moretti with relish, like a judge who would open a session of the Assize Court. The former lawyer does not shy away from his pleasure in the face of the magistrates of the court of Chartres (Eure-et-Loir) … who politely comply during this visit of the Keeper of the Seals devoted this Tuesday, November 10 to the continuity of the public service of the justice in times of health crisis. In the midst of the Covid-19 epidemic, the case is not simple, especially at a time when the courts regularly cry out their despair at the overcrowding of cases to be processed and the lack of resources.
So, the one who traded in his black dress for a minister’s costume shows off his new clothes with caution, now obeying the codes of his new function, between politeness and diplomacy. As when he appears in front of the reception agent of the Chartres court, whom he greets behind the hygiaphone: “I testify to you of the gratitude of the ministry in this complicated period. Thank you for being at the helm ”. Formula that he repeats mechanically to a cross-clerk in a corridor, then in the office of an examining magistrate. “It is important that justice can continue to do its job, but it must not be done to the detriment of people. The first imperative is your health, ”he insists, all round.
“King Kong on a leash”
How far are the days when Dupond-Moretti decided with his high verb and his sleeve effects, to the point of shaking the courts and the media scene. In government, his counterparts are almost surprised. “When I learned that it was him at Justice, I was surprised. The president must have felt it, because he said to me: Call him, see him and we’ll talk about it later. Indeed, Eric Dupond-Moretti is a charming person, open to dialogue, far from the somewhat harsh image that he has sometimes been able to dismiss, ”admits Marlène Schiappa, Minister Delegate in charge of Citizenship. Another to tell about his first Council of Ministers: “We expected to see a pit bull … it was rather King Kong on a leash”.
The person concerned admits it: “I learned the restraint. I hold back a lot more, because you have to choose your fights “, he confesses to the Parisian – Today in France,” even if it is sometimes difficult not to be able to return all the blows “. Except when it comes to Marine Le Pen, his sworn enemy: the president of the National Rally “embodies everything I hate”, he said. “She only offers infeasible solutions to flatter low instincts. If tomorrow she is elected president, do you really think that Gilbert Collard at Justice will overturn the table? This is populism! I reproach him all the more since I think he is an intelligent person, ”says the minister who intends, moreover, to be active in 2022 for a presidential campaign by Emmanuel Macron.
“This is concrete!”
Precisely, in the old walls of the Chartres court, awaiting a move to more modern premises, President Stéphanie Krétowicz calls out to him on the dilapidation of computers and software. “I forgot to tell you, you will receive twenty new laptops by the weekend,” replied the Minister of Justice. The magistrate is not totally convinced: “That’s good, but there are 155 of us here…”. So he recalls that he “obtained an exceptional budget for justice in 2021”. His pride.
On the return trip to Paris, the host of Place Vendôme drives the point home. “This budget will make it possible to hire 2,500 staff. This is concrete! “, He insists, promising” other surprises to come to move in the direction of a justice of proximity, faster and more efficient “. His mantra. His project to “film and broadcast the hearings” is criticized by part of the opposition and magistrates, who denounce the risk of “show justice”? He doesn’t care. “My services are working on this text which I will complete by taking into account all the necessary precautions. It would still be a shame that in a society where transparency is required, we cannot see how justice works, ”he asserts, sure of himself, while his first months at Justice have not been spared criticism and controversy.
With, in particular, strained relations with certain magistrates’ unions, such as his past as a lawyer, which has earned him several accusations of conflicts of interest. To avoid this pitfall, a decree published on October 23 deported him from now on business linked to the activities he carried out before. They will be directly managed by Matignon. “I was not put aside! It was I who suggested it, ”he says, satisfied to learn that the High Authority for Transparency for Public Life (HATVP) recently welcomed this precaution. Case closed, then? “For me this question never arose. But now it no longer arises ”.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr