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Coronavirus

French Prosecutor Opens Probe of Gov’t Agencies for Their Handling of the COVID-19 Crisis

PARIS — The chief prosecutor of Paris has opened a preliminary investigation of alleged criminal negligence by French government agencies for their handling of the coronavirus crisis.

In a written statement Tuesday, Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said 62 legal complaints alleging misconduct have been filed by individuals as well as trade unions and associations.

Heitz says the complaints focus on the criminal offenses of “endangering the life of others, failing to help someone in danger, voluntary abstention to fight a dangerous disaster, manslaughter and unintentional injuries."

Some other legal complaints have been filed across France against care homes and are being investigated locally.

France has recorded the deaths of over 14,000 care home residents, or nearly half of the country's total reported pandemic death toll of 29,209.

More than 70 complaints specifically targeting the government have been filed before the Court of Justice of the Republic, the French court in charge of offenses committed by sitting ministers.

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