The parliamentary immunity of deputy and former minister Damien Abad, targeted by rape charges, was lifted on Wednesday by a unanimous decision of the office of the National Assembly, participants reported.
Justice had made this request for waiver of immunity within the framework of a preliminary investigation in progress in Paris, and Mr. Abad had said himself "favorable" to it.
Because of this decision of the office of the Assembly, its highest collegial body, the deputy (related to Renaissance) can in particular be placed in police custody.
Immunity protects parliamentarians from any coercive measure; however, it does not prevent indictments.
There was no debate during the meeting of the Bureau of the Assembly. The patroness of the Renaissance deputies Aurore Bergé, who was present, then indicated, "the position of our group is constant: parliamentary immunity must be systematically lifted when the facts do not concern our parliamentary work".
"So we were obviously in favor of lifting Damien Abad's immunity," she added.
Requests for waiver of immunity are formulated by the public prosecutor's office and transmitted by the Keeper of the Seals to the president of the parliamentary chamber concerned. The office decides on the "serious, loyal and sincere" character of the request, not on the substance.
Mr. Abad, elected representative of Ain, assures him: "from the opening of the preliminary investigation, I always said that I was at the disposal of justice in order to be able to answer the questions of the investigators and to confirm thus my innocence in the face of the ignoble calumnies of which I am the target".
The former head of LR deputies was appointed in May 2022 Minister of Solidarity, Autonomy and People with Disabilities, taken from President Emmanuel Macron on the right.
The day after his appointment, Mediapart relayed accusations of rape against him, dating from 2010 and 2011. The complaints were closed in 2012 and then 2017.
But at the end of June 2022, a complaint was once again filed, leading to the opening of the preliminary investigation in Paris for attempted rape.
Mr. Abad, re-elected MP for a third term, left the government in early July. The "conditions of serenity" were "no longer present", explained Olivier Véran, spokesperson for the government.
24/05/2023 10:27:09 - Paris (AFP) - © 2023 AFP