Ex-French health minister summoned by judges over handling of Covid crisis

Agnès Buzyn questioned by the French Senate in Paris, September 23, 2020.
Agnès Buzyn questioned by the French Senate in Paris, September 23, 2020. © Stephane de Sakutin, AFP

Former French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn was summoned to appear before judges on Friday to face questions over whether her response to the coronavirus pandemic was inadequate, newspaper Le Monde reported.


The judges of the Cour de Justice de La Republique, a special court that deals with complaints against serving or former ministers, are considering charging Buzyn with "voluntary abstaining from fighting a disaster" and "putting the lives of others at risk", said Le Monde, citing sources close to the matter.

Buzyn, health minister from May 2017 to February 2020, had to step down at the start of the pandemic under pressure from President Emmanuel Macron to replace Benjamin Griveaux, the LREM party candidate for Mayor of Paris who was forced to withdraw after a sex-tape scandal.

She lost her bid for the Paris city hall and ended up being appointed in January to the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva, in charge of monitoring multilateral issues.

Spokespersons for the WHO and for the French health Ministry did not respond to requests for comment on the matter.

The current French Health Minister Olivier Veran is also expected to be summoned by the same judges in the coming weeks, added Le Monde.


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