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Article published the Friday 17 May 2013 - Latest update : Friday 17 May 2013

Martine Aubry cleared of asbestos manslaughter charges

Martine Aubry has been cleared of manslaughter charges for failing to protect French workers from asbestos.
Martine Aubry has been cleared of manslaughter charges for failing to protect French workers from asbestos.
Reuters/Jean-Philippe Arles

By RFI

A court in Paris has cleared former Socialist Party leader Martine Aubry of manslaughter charges for failing to French protect workers from asbestos. The decision clears the way for her to re-enter as a force in national politics.

Aubry, touted as a future Prime Minister, was placed under formal investigation last November for the asbestos case back to the 1980s when she was a workplace relations director at the labour ministry.

She was accused of taking too long to implement European Union directives on asbestos.

Aubry welcomed the decision by the Court of Appeal’s decision on Friday to drop “involuntary homicide and injuries” charges.

“The courts have recognised today that there can be no fault nor negligence attributed to me in the asbestos affair,” she said, adding that she had “always acted with the knowledge to better protect workers.”

The issue had been hanging over Aubry, who is currently the mayor of the city of Lille, but had twice been a government minister.

In November 2008, she defeated former presidential candidate Ségolène Royal to lead the Socialist Party.

Then in 2012, Aubry narrowly lost to François Hollande as the Socialist Party’s presidential candidate.

Aubry is known for pushing for the 35-hour working week in France while as Social Affairs Minister in 1998.

tags: Asbestos - France - Martine Aubry - Prime Minister - Socialist Party
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