France reopened its investigation of the chief of staff Macron

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[PARIS] Investigators have reopened an investigation into the conflict of interests concerning the chief of office of the president and Emmanuel Macron, Alexis Kohler, about his links with the giant transport swiss-Italian MSC, said sources Wednesday to the AFP.An initial criminal investigation by the public prosecutor in charge of economic crimes, was abandoned in August of last year, which prompted the electoral group Anticor to make a complaint in a civil action.

On Monday, the investigating magistrates have agreed to act on the complaint of Anticor, said the sources, confirming a report of the site investigation Mediapart.

As a high official of the ministry of the economy prior to the election of Mr Macron in 2017, Mr. Kohler would have worked on matters involving the shipyard STX France, where MSC was a major client.

MSC was founded by cousins billionaires of the mother of Mr. Kohler and Mr. Kohler himself has joined the company as chief financial officer in 2016 while continuing to work as an advisor on the presidential campaign of Mr. Macron.

Two years ago, the police raided the ministry of economy within the framework of its investigation on Kohler, who was also the head of cabinet of Mr Macron to the ministry between 2014 and 2016.

The presidency has denied that his assistant had committed a sin.

Mr. Macron confirmed last year that he had been aware of the family ties to Mr. Kohler upon his appointment in 2014, and added that Mr. Kohler was not involved in the decisions related to the MSC after his arrival on board.

On Wednesday evening, the presidency has described the reopening of the investigation of the “automatic consequence” of the filing of the complaint Anticor, claiming that the judges would consider the case ” with complete independence “.

The opponents of the left often accuse Mr Macron, a former investment banker, to be too close to company managers.

The allegations against Mr. Kohler in addition to a list of judicial investigations into allies of Mr Macron – including Richard Ferrand, who resigned from his post of minister of Housing due to an investigation into a agreement real estate, but is now the president of the Parliament.

Mr. Kohler had also been interviewed during an investigation into a scandal involving the former bodyguard of Mr Macron, Alexander Benalla, and a commission of inquiry of the Senate said suspect that Mr. Kohler had concealed information in this case.

AFP



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