Sunday

31st May 2020

Ex-commissioner's fraud case goes to court

Edith Cresson, the former Commissioner whose alleged fraud brought about the collapse of the last Commission, has had her case referred to a criminal court.

If the local magistrates' court decides that the case should be tried, it would be the first time a former commissioner has stood trial under criminal law.

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But many of the charges against Mrs Cresson have been dropped. She will be tried under suspicion of approving 13 allegedly faked orders to carry out tasks for the Commission.

The French media write that the faked notes involve expenditure of approximately 7000 euro.

A spokeswoman for the prosecutors' office told French agency AFP that a decision on the case is likely "in the coming weeks or the coming months".

Mrs Cresson - a former French prime minister - was Commissioner for research and education from 1995-1999.

She became embroiled in a scandal involving a friend and former dentist Rene Berthelot who was allegedly paid 150,000 euro for a fictitious job.

The scandal culminated in the mass resignation of the Commission and its then President Jacques Santer.

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