French prosecutors open probe into President Emmanuel Macron ally

French prosecutors said they were opening a preliminary investigation into a property deal involving one of President Emmanuel Macron's ministers.

Published: 01st June 2017 01:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st June 2017 01:48 PM   |  A+A-

President Emmanuel Macron


BREST: French prosecutors said Thursday they were opening a preliminary investigation into a property deal involving one of President Emmanuel Macron's ministers.

Macron had on Wednesday defended Richard Ferrand, a close ally of the president, over allegations he favoured his wife in a lucrative deal with a public health insurance fund when he headed the company.

The timing of the announcement by prosecutors in the western port of Brest is embarrassing for Macron because the government is to unveil a draft law on cleaning up French politics on Thursday.

The pledge to rejuvenate France's corruption-plagued political class was one of the central planks of the campaign that swept 39-year-old centrist Macron to the presidency on May 7.

Ferrand, one of Macron's first prominent backers and formerly secretary general of the president's Republique En Marche (Republic on the Move) party, has denied any wrongdoing.

He told France Inter radio on Thursday: "I am an honest man."

The Canard Enchaine investigative newspaper reported last week that an insurance fund that Ferrand headed in his native Brittany -- where he is an MP -- agreed in 2011 to rent a building from his wife and carry out renovations that boosted its value.

Ferrand, 54-year-old minister for territorial cohesion, has dismissed the report as a "welcome present" from the media for the new government.

He says his wife made the fund the best offer and that he had no say in the matter.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp