He was one of the lawyers the most famous of France, known for his outspokenness, but also its virulence in respect of judges: Éric Dupond-Moretti, the tenor of the bar nicknamed “acquittator”, was appointed Monday minister of Justice, the appointment surprise of the new government.
Known for his “big mouth”, this novice in politics, 59 years old, became keeper of the Seals six months after a historic movement to strike of lawyers against the pension reform.
The son of a cleaning woman
This son of a woman of the household is at the origin of more than 120 acquittals, which has earned him the nickname of”acquittator”, and his name appears in many great trials in recent years.
In 2017, it is his defense of the brother of Mohamed Merah author of bloody terrorist attacks in the south-west of France in 2012, Abdelkader, who had wild passions. “It is the trial the most difficult of my career. I took full mouth, I was insulted. It has been said that I was the shame of the profession, it has threatened my children”. But it was “an honor” to defend it, he then said.
He also explained not to be there for the moral but for the right, and said he would have been able to defend “the man Hitler” if he had asked her to, but “provided that this does not justify the nazi ideology”.
In the courtroom, it makes it blow for blow with his opponents. He uses his physical presence intimidating, to put under pressure some of the witnesses of the prosecution.
In couple with Isabelle Boulay
This lawyer media, so far always listed to the left, and in couple with Isabelle Boulay, was launched in the theatre in 2019 and it had to ensure a chronic morning on the radio Europe 1 at the start of the year.
If the appointment of Eric Dupond-Moretti has been well received by lawyers, it has in contrast the effect of a shock to the judges. “Name a personality, as clivante and disregards at this point the magistrates, it is a declaration of war on the judiciary”, said to AFP Celine Parisot, president of the USM, majority union among magistrates.
At the end of June, the lawyer was carried away, with his verve usual against the parquet national financier (PNF), has peeled its telephone bills as detailed, as those of several other lawyers, in an investigation linked to former president Nicolas Sarkozy (2007-2012). “Methods of secret agents,” he thundered.
And if you were the keeper of the Seals, what would you do?, was he then interviewed on LCI. “First, it is necessary that one separates the prosecutor’s office” — the judges of prosecutors. “For me, this is imperative. I clean up in there so very very very clear”, said the tenor. And continue: “I’m making a system of accountability of judges, because the judges are not responsible for what they do today. They are the only ones in our society not to be responsible”.
Since Robert Badinter, minister of Justice from 1981 to 1986, under the presidency of the socialist François Mitterrand, “no advocate of the judiciary had been appointed keeper of the Seals,” noted Estellia Araez, president of the Syndicat des avocats de France (SAF, left). “It is auspicious that a classmate who has always defended the freedoms (…) and who has participated in the fight against the pension reform will be appointed keeper of the Seals”, she added.