Jean Castex waited until the very last moment to make his decision. While he had until midnight Friday April 2 to rule on the renewal of the approval of the Anticor association, the press release fell around 10:30 p.m. It authorizes the association for three years to act in corruption court cases.
“After six months of instruction, Jean Castex finally decided that Anticor’s approval could be renewed. A victory for Anticor ”, welcomed the association on its website. The approval was granted to the association in 2015 and then renewed without difficulty, and officially expired on February 15. But the decision had been put on hold by the government and Anticor had expressed concerns about the renewal.
A case investigated since October
“It is certain that the fact of having attacked us with personalities close to the executive one caused a certain tension, analysis Élise Van Beneden, lawyer and president of Anticor. Never in the past has the government been so intrusive when renewing an accreditation. ” “It is an important responsibility to have the right to take legal action in the name of the general interest and this imposes duties and an obligation of transparency”, underlined the Prime Minister Jean Castex on March 23
The file, lost at first, had been investigated by the Chancellery since October, under the control of the Prime Minister. The Keeper of the Seals Éric Dupond-Moretti, who is himself the subject of an Anticor complaint before the Court of Justice of the Republic for illegal taking of interest, had withdrawn from the processing of the file.
To justify this delay, the Prime Minister stressed in his press release on Friday that the analysis of the renewal request had “Noted a lack of internal transparency on the donations collected” as well as the legal challenge by some of the members of the association ” of the conditions for the renewal of the Board of Directors in June 2020 ”.
Accused of leading a partisan fight
Nevertheless, in view of the answers given by the association and in particular its intention to modify its statutes, the government has decided to renew the accreditation while specifying that “This renewal reserves the possibility of carrying out a reassessment of the situation if new elements should justify it”, insisted Jean Castex.
The association founded in 2002 by the former anti-corruption judge Éric Halphen and an elected socialist, Séverine Tessier, “To fight corruption and restore ethics in politics”, has become an actor, sometimes contested, in financial justice. Its lever: the complaint with the constitution of civil party which allows the quasi-automatic seizure of an examining magistrate and the relaunch of the investigations when an investigation has been closed by the prosecution.
Anticor’s opponents accused the anti-corruption association of leading a partisan fight, attacking Macronia and the right. In recent years, it has targeted several close to President Emmanuel Macron: the Secretary General of the Elysee Palace Alexis Kohler, the Minister of Justice Éric Dupond-Moretti or, most recently, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran for “Favoritism” for the management of the StopCovid application.