Case of the “fadettes”: no disciplinary sanction claimed against the deputy prosecutor of the PNF, Patrice Amar

The magistrate was targeted by disciplinary proceedings following the administrative investigations requested by the Keeper of the Seals, Éric Dupond-Moretti.

No disciplinary sanction was claimed Wednesday, September 21 against the deputy prosecutor of the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF), Patrice Amar, one of the magistrates targeted by disciplinary proceedings following the administrative investigations requested by the Keeper of the Seals, Eric Dupond-Moretti.

The Director of Judicial Services (DSJ), Paul Huber, asked, on behalf of the Prime Minister, the disciplinary training of the Superior Council of the Judiciary (CSM) to say that Patrice Amar had committed “faults“disciplinary but”that there is no reason to pronounce a sanction“. The CSM will deliver its opinion on October 19. Only the Keeper of the Seals can then propose a sanction.

From the opening of the disciplinary hearing on Tuesday, the defense of Patrice Amar, a 56-year-old magistrate experienced in sensitive files, had risen against prosecution “illegal“, intended for “destabilize the PNF“.

The grievances ultimately upheld against Patrice Amar were far removed from the initial case of the “fadettesand relate mainly to accusations made by the deputy prosecutor against the former head of the PNF Éliane Houlette, on his management and his competence in financial matters. “It’s ridiculous. These are pretexts to serve the vengeance of Éric Dupond-Moretti“, protested Me François Saint-Pierre, one of the lawyers of the financial prosecutor.

The referral to the CSM follows the administrative investigations carried out by Éric Dupond-Moretti in September 2020 against three PNF magistrates, including Patrice Amar and Éliane Houlette, for a controversial investigation carried out on the sidelines of a corruption case involving Nicolas Sarkozy and his lawyer Thierry Herzog.

“PNF trash cans”

The PNF’s investigations aimed to flush out a possible mole who could have informed the former head of state that his phone was tapped in the file nicknamed “Bismuth“. They had led to going through the telephone records (the “fadettes“) of tenors of the bar, including Éric Dupond-Moretti. Denouncing “spook methods“, he had filed a complaint, withdrawn upon his appointment to the Chancellery.

It is for having launched investigations against these magistrates in particular that the Minister of Justice is indicted for “illegal taking of interestand threatened with a lawsuit before the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR). The administrative investigation had exonerated Patrice Amar of any disciplinary breach.

But Matignon, who has since recovered the files from which Éric Dupond-Moretti had to withdraw to avoid any conflict of interest, had ignored it and had seized the CSM. In question, a letter that Patrice Amar sent in January 2019 to the Attorney General of Paris, revealed two years later by the magazine Le Point, in which he denounces in particular the “conflicts of interest” and the “harassmentof his ex-boss, Éliane Houlette, without giving them any criminal qualification. Patrice Amar is also criticized for the content of remarks “derogatory” and “intentionally offensive“criticizing the”incompetence» or the «inexperienceby Eliane Houlette.

“Political” procedure

The hostility between these two magistrates is old and dates back to the very beginnings of the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office, created in February 2014 in the wake of the Cahuzac scandal. Barely put on the rails, the PNF had had in his hands the file “Bismuth“.

Patrice Amar and his ex-colleague Ulrika Delaunay-Weiss had criticized Éliane Houlette for having delayed seizing an investigating judge in this ultra-sensitive case, involving ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, his lawyer and a senior magistrate in the Court of Cassation. They then believe that they have beensidelinedby the boss of the PNF. Ulrika Delaunay-Weiss was also the subject of disciplinary preliminary proceedings in the context of the “fadettesbut was definitely cleared. Heard as a witness at the request of Patrice Amar, she sharply criticized this procedure “Politics“.

The direction of the judicial services, in desperation to be able to prosecute us on the investigation of the fadettes (…) has made the dustbins of the PNF on order of Éric Dupond-Moretti, with the support of the executive power“Said the former financial prosecutor, now stationed in Nanterre.

Éliane Houlette will appear in turn on Monday and Tuesday before the disciplinary body of magistrates. At the end of a first procedure linked to the investigations carried out by Eric Dupond-Moretti against magistrates with whom he had had trouble when he was a lawyer, the CSM cleared a former investigating judge from Monaco, Édouard Levrault .

SEE ALSO – “I don’t have more rights than the others but I don’t have less”, underlines Nicolas Sarkozy after his condemnation

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