Prominent French politician and former justice minister, Rachida Dati, has been charged with “passive corruption” and “benefiting from abuse of power”, according to France’s financial crimes unit.
The accusations were made in an investigation over fees Dati received for consulting work she did for the ousted Renault chief Carlos Ghosn between 2010 to 2012, during which she was also an MP in the European Parliament.
According to AFP, the fees amounted to $1.06 million.
“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,” AFP wrote.
French newspaper Le Monde reported that Dati’s contract had her help with Renault’s international expansion to the MENA region and that she asked for the work to be kept confidential. Three judges have been investigating the contracts since 2019.
Dati was interrogated for 16 hours back in November and placed under the status of an assisted witness. However, she was investigated once again this month and the charges were made.
Dati, who was tipped to becoming France’s first female president, could now face up to 15 years in prison over the corruption charges.
Now the mayor of Paris’ 7th district for the right-wing The Republicans (LR) party, Dati argued that the justice system was “being used for an ulterior political motive”.