PARIS

Searches were conducted Thursday morning at the homes of France’s several top government officials as part of an investigation into the handling of the coronavirus crisis, local media reported.

The investigations were carried out at the residences and offices of Health Minister Olivier Veran, Director General of Health Jerome Salomon, and at the residences only of former Health Minister Agnes Buzyn, former government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye, and former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, according to BFM TV.

The searches happened as part of a judicial investigation that was opened on July 3 at France’s Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR), looking into the oversight of the COVID-19 crisis. The charges include “abstaining from fighting a disaster” in accordance with the law. The date for the searches has been fixed for some time as a part of the judicial investigation.

The General Prosecutor’s Office of the Court of Cassation then opened a judicial investigation on July 7 through the investigative committee of the CJR to determine whether the ministers may have committed criminal offenses in their management of the health crisis.

The CJR had initially received 90 complaints against the ministers, nine of which were admissible enough to open an investigation. The CJR is the only governmental body empowered in France to judge acts committed by officials in carrying out their duties.

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