France’s Interior Minister Questioned Over Rape Allegation

FRANCE’S Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, was questioned on Monday by Judges investigating a rape allegation made against him in 2009.

The Minister’s legal team told AFP that Darmanin had appeared for questioning “of his own request”, and is currently being quizzed as a witness rather than a suspect. However, charges could be brought against the controversial politician if “serious or consistent evidence” is found.

In 2009 a woman claimed that Darmanin had raped her while he was the legal adviser to UMP, a former French right-wing party. She approached him to have her criminal record expunged, to which he allegedly told her “you’ll have to help me as well”. He claims that they engaged in consensual sex.

The case sparked an outcry from women’s’ groups in France, particularly when Darmanin was appointed the country’s Interior Minister under President Macron. He is one of the key figures behind a hugely controversial new security law that has seen backlash and large protests across France.

The new law grants sweeping new powers, funding, and privacy to police and coincided with a wave of abuse allegations. France was outraged by recent scandals including the savage assault of a music producer by Paris officers and the violent breakup of a migrant camp by riot police.

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Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...