The French Prosecutor’s Office for Financial Infringements launched an investigation against the chief of staff of the Elysée Palace. The prebe was opened after the public organization Anticor accused Alexis Kohler, 44, of corruption, as reported by AFP.
Anticor condemned Kohler’s family ties with the Italian-Swiss maritime transport company Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), a major customer of the French shipyard STX France. The complaint stated that Kohler, from 2010, is on the board of directors of STX France and “could not help knowing” that the MSC was founded and managed by his mother’s cousins.
The anti-graft organization described Kohler’s actions as “passive corruption” and “abuse of power.” As the RTL radio station notes, MSC received a lot of government contracts from the French authorities and participates in the work of the largest shipyards in Saint-Nazaire.
The Elysee Palace stated that Kohler no longer participates in the work of the MSC, adding that he fully complied with the law. “Mr Kohler will provide all the documents needed to show that his behavior respected the rule of law at all times,” Elysee Palace said.
In May 2017 Emmanuelle Macron took office as President of France. Then Kohler was appointed secretary general of the Elysee Palace. Previously, he worked in the Directorate of the Tax Service of France and the International Monetary Fund.
Kohler served as director of the Cabinet of the Minister of Economy and Finance in the government of François Hollande, the predecessor of Macron.