Alexis Kohler, a confidant of French President Macron, risks being the centre of a judicial investigation. That is what the lawyer of anti-corruption organisation Anticor, who went to the public prosecutor’s office with a complaint about passive corruption and use of influence.
The indictment comes after disclosures by news site Médiapart about the family ties and close professional ties between Kohler and the Italian-Swiss shipping company MSC. The facts of which he is accused date from before Kohler held his current position as secretary-general at the Elysée.
As a valuable customer, MSC played an essential role in the discussions about the future of the Saint-Nazaire shipyard. The French state is for a third owner of that shipyard. Kohler served on the board of directors of the yard on behalf of France.
Anticor now criticises Kohler for accepting to sit on the board of directors of the shipyard from 2010 to 2012 as a representative of the state. However, he had to know that there was a conflict of interest because MSC was established and directed by a cousin of his mother.
It is now the prosecutor’s office that has to decide whether an investigation is to be opened.