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Macron’s top adviser charged with conflict of interest

The top official in French President Emmanuel Macron's office has been charged with a conflict of interest while in office, the chief financial crimes prosecutor said Monday.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 24, 2017 The General Secretary of The Elysee Palace Alexis Kohler poses in Paris. – Alexis Kohler has been placed under custody over his links to the Swiss-Italian shipping giant MSC on October 3, 2022. (Photo by Thomas Samson / AFP)

The top official in French President Emmanuel Macron’s office has been charged with a conflict of interest while in office, the chief financial crimes prosecutor said Monday.

Alexis Kohler, who holds one of France’s most powerful jobs as Elysee secretary-general, is accused over his professional and family links with Italian-Swiss shipping company MSC which is run by his mother’s cousins.

On Monday, he “categorically denied any wrongdoing”, his lawyer said in a statement, while an official in Macron’s office said Kohler remained in his post.

In 2018, Anticor, an anti-corruption NGO, filed a legal complaint against Kohler for illegal influence-peddling concerning contracts awarded to MSC in 2010 and 2011.

Kohler allegedly failed to notify his family connection with MSC to the French agency for public investment, where he worked at the time.