Emmanuel Macron’s right-hand man, who denies having “committed any offence”was indicted at the end of September 2022. Two senior officials and former superiors of Alexis Kohler at the Agence des participations de l’Etat (APE), have been prosecuted for “complicity in the illegal taking of interests” since February 9 in this case. Alexis Kohler’s lawyer, Éric Dezeuze, did not wish to speak. “Appeals are pending before the investigating chamber,” said the judicial source.
According to the decision of the Court of Appeal on these appeals, the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) could be required to take its requisitions before the investigating judges order or not a trial before the criminal court. The PNF had opposed the proceedings by filing a first complaint of Anticor ociation filed in 2018 after publication of Mediapart articles on this possible conflict of interest. Anticor then obtained the appointment of investigating judges in June 2020 by filing a complaint with civil action.
Participation in five deliberations
Alexis Kohler is suspected of having participated as a senior civil servant between 2009 and 2016 in several decisions relating to the Italian-Swiss shipowner MSC run by his mother’s cousins, the Aponte family. Five deliberations by the authorities of STX France (now Chantiers de l’Atlantique) and three of the Grand Port Maritime du Havre (GPMH), linked to MSC, while he was a director, are concerned.
Then between 2012 and 2016, when he was a member of the cabinet of Pierre Moscovici and then Emmanuel Macron at the Ministry of the Economy, Alexis Kohler was accused of having in particular “persisted (…) in issuing opinions or giving strategic orientations relating” to files involving MSC, according to his interrogation on September 22 and 23, 2022 before the investigating magistrates.
“Hyper committed, super competent”
Alexis Kohler disputed “any tort” and any “advantage drawn” from his situation. He argued by specifying that he had not participated in any decision concerning the group, at the time STX-GPMH, having informed his hierarchy of his family ties and asked to leave his mandate as administrator of STX. His board votes expressed the state’s position, he told the investigating judges.
Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly expressed his “confidence” in his secretary general. In a Further investigation dedicated to Alexis Kohler and broadcast in March on France 2, the Head of State had defended the “honesty” of his right arm, “hyper committed, hyper competent”. “This procedure is not in the process of succeeding,” he ured.