- Title: 'I have the right to be presumed innocent': French minister accused of rape
- Date: 9th July 2020
- Summary: ***WARNING: CONTAINS NUDITY*** TOPLESS ACTIVIST IN FRONT OF ELYSEE PRESIDENTIAL PALACE SHOUTING IN FRONT OF PHOTOGRAPHERS WITH SLOGAN ON HER CHEST READING (French): "RIP (REST IN PEACE) THE PROMISES"
- Embargoed: 23rd July 2020 11:36
- Keywords: Rights feminist interior minister protest rape reschuffle women
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA009CM38TVR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS NUDITY
France's newly appointed interior minister, who is facing allegations of rape, said on Thursday (July 9) he had a right "to the presumption of innocence."
Speaking on French radio RTL after feminist groups staged demonstrations on Tuesday calling President Emmanuel Macron's government reshuffle "shameful", Gerald Darmanin said that in the case against him, three judicial decisions in three years had been in his favour.
The Paris appeal court in June ordered the reopening of an investigation into a rape allegation against Darmanin, two years after a judge dismissed the case.
The initial inquiry into the allegations against Darmanin, who is a close political ally of President Emmanuel Macron, was dropped in August 2018 when prosecutors said they could not establish "absence of consent".
A woman accused the former budget minister of coercing her into having sex in 2009 when she sought his help in having her criminal record cleared. She appealed against the decision to drop the investigation but the Paris appeal court had said she did so too late.
Darmanin, a close political ally of Macron, told the RTL journalist he had not done anything wrong and added he would "of course" not use his position as interior minister to intervene in the judicial process.
The protesters on Tuesday also denounced the nomination of lawyer Eric Dupond-Moretti as justice minister, whom they deem sexist and misogynic based on his comments against the MeToo movement and his attitude in the recent cases he defended as a lawyer.
Darmanin praised the former lawyer for abandoning "a liberal profession he was excellent at to join the public debate which is of course very honourable, but is also full of attacks."
The new ministers took office on Tuesday following Macron's reshuffle that came days after voters punished his party in local elections.
(Production: Emilie Delwarde)
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