“We do not understand this decision, we do not understand how the head of government“of the time, Edouard Philippe,”cannot be charged“, reacts Saturday, October 22 the lawyer of the association CoeurVide19 – an association of victims of Covid-19 – Me Yassine Bouzrou.
>> Covid-19: Edouard Philippe placed by the CJR under the status of assisted witness for his management of the epidemic
According to information from franceinfo, Edouard Philippe, was placed under the status of witness assisted by the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR) which is investigating political responsibilities in the management of the Covid-19 epidemic. With this intermediate status, the former Prime Minister escapes an indictment. He is placed under this status of assisted witness for “endangering the lives of others” and “voluntary abstention from fighting a disaster”.
franceinfo: How do you react to this decision of the Court of Justice of the Republic?
Yassine Bouzrou: What you need to know is that the status of “assisted witness” can change during the investigation. The judges of the Court of Justice are absolutely not bound by this decision. Today, we do not understand this decision, because it is obvious that the actions of Mrs. Agnès Buzyn (the Minister of Health at the time) could not be made without the agreement of the head of government. We do not understand how Ms. Buzyn could have been indicted, in particular following her miserable remarks on the non-necessity of wearing a mask and all the other elements that she was able to give at the time which seriously endangered the French population. So, today, my clients are asking questions.
How can you explain this difference between the indictment of Agnès Buzyn in September 2021 and the placement under the status of assisted witness of Edouard Philippe?
Madame Buzyn was on the front line so perhaps the magistrates considered that at this stage, Madame Buzyn’s shortcomings were isolated and were so serious that she did not refer to her head of government at the time. . Me, I don’t really believe it. But as I told you, this decision today is not a final decision of the Court of Justice which can perfectly during the investigation modify this status and refer Edouard Philippe to a court, before the CJR. Moreover, we still salute the work of the CJR which investigated this case. I remind you that traditional justice, following complaints filed, does absolutely nothing. The Paris prosecutor’s office had opened a preliminary investigation. Only the magistrates of the Court of Justice are working on this case this time and that is already good. And as I told you, we still deplore this decision, because it is legally incomprehensible insofar as Mrs Buzyn, who was under the authority of her Prime Minister, committed what are called serious breaches which justify including his indictment.
Other politicians are targeted by complaints in this case, in particular Olivier Véran, the former Minister of Health who succeeded Agnès Buzyn. Are you also expecting new decisions from the Court of Justice of the Republic?
We are simply waiting, in view of the existing elements and the certainties that we have, in particular on the positions taken that are totally contrary to the data held at the time by the authorities. We now await further indictments. I think that indeed Mr. Véran insofar as he will continue by taking up this rather catastrophic policy of Mrs. Buzyn on the management of the Covid. The logic, would indeed be that Mr. Véran is the subject of an indictment and that all the people can be judged within the framework of a lawsuit before the Court of Justice.
What do you say to those who say that it is not up to the courts to settle this matter since it is a question of political responsibilities and that it would be up to Parliament, which controls the action of the government, to decide first there- above ?
We are in a state of law. There are criminal offenses and when one voluntarily refrains from fighting a disaster, when one voluntarily endangers the life of others, the law applies and there must be criminal proceedings. I remind you that there have been political deaths, certain political personalities have taken totally irresponsible positions by knowingly asserting that masks should not be worn, that certain equipment should not be provided, that a decision should not be withdrawn. All of these elements deserve a more than political response, a judicial response.