A new procedure against a member of the government and a new stage in the war between the Minister of Sports and the former boss of French football: the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR) is investigating Amélie Oudéa-Castera after a complaint in defamation of Noël Le Graët.
Judicial information has been open since June 21 at the CJR, the only court authorized to judge ministers in the exercise of their function, after remarks by the minister in February on the long-term management by Mr. Le Graët of the Federation French Football Federation (FFF), AFP learned on Friday from a judicial source.
Asked by AFP, Mr. Le Graët’s lawyer, Me Thierry Marembert, did not wish to comment. The Ministry of Sports did not react immediately.
Noël Le Graët resigned in February with a bang from the FFF, which he had led since 2011, after a damning audit report from the General Inspectorate for Education, Sport and Research (IGESR) on his management, amid accusations of sexual harassment.
The IGESR inspectors considered in this report that Le Graët “no longer has the necessary legitimacy to administer and represent French football”, taking into account in particular his “inappropriate behavior (…) vis-à-vis lives of women”.
Read also :
Complaint by Le Graët against Oudéa-Castéra: “I never called him a stalker” reacts the Minister of Sports
A few hours after his departure, his lawyer had announced a complaint, claiming that Ms. Oudéa-Castera had “lied” on this report and pointing to a difference between the summary of the document, published on February 15 and which evoked the sending by M Le Graët of “SMS ambiguous for some and clearly sexual in nature for others”, and its entirety.
The report was never made public.
According to an extract, consulted at the time by AFP, the inspection mission had noted “a small number of writings (SMS in particular) produced by Mr. Le Graët, using ambiguous formulations which could receive different interpretations and a vocabulary not containing any term of a sexual nature”.
Preliminary investigation for moral and sexual harassment
The press law procedure makes it almost automatic, after a defamation complaint, the referral to an investigating judge and the indictment of the author of the remarks, the substantive debate taking place at the hearing. .
However, the case law is different before the CJR. In 2014, its requests committee had thus closed a complaint for defamation by the controversial polemicist Dieudonné against Manuel Valls, then Minister of the Interior, considering from the outset that the offense of defamation was not sufficiently characterized.
In 2010, the same petitions commission also dismissed a defamation complaint from the Movement against Racism and for Friendship between Peoples against Nadine Morano, then minister.
Mr. Le Graët is the subject of a preliminary investigation for moral and sexual harassment opened by the Paris prosecutor’s office. The former director general of the FFF Florence Hardouin, heard in April in this investigation, filed a complaint against him.
In addition to Ms. Oudéa-Castera, the Keeper of the Seals Eric Dupond-Moretti is the subject of proceedings at the CJR, which in October issued an order referring him to trial which he contests.
A judicial investigation also targets the government’s management of the Covid-19 epidemic.
Several relatives of President Emmanuel Macron are the subject of legal proceedings, relating in particular to the links between the consulting firm McKinsey and the majority or to the Marianne fund.