In Depth: The Alexis Kohler affair

Macron's top aide Alexis Kohler under investigation over 'unlawful conflict of interest'

On September 23rd the president's chief of staff was placed under formal investigation for “unlawful conflict of interest” over claims he hid his family ties to the MSC shipping line and intervened in its favour on several occasions  while working as a senior civil servant. Alexis Kohler has also been placed under the status of “assisted witness” for “influence peddling” in relation to the same case. As Martine Orange reports, the news comes after the Élysée spent five years trying – in vain - to bury the case.

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It is the scenario that Emmanuel Macron did not want hear about. Whenever anyone tried to warn him of the potential blow to his authority if his chief of staff Alexis Kohler faced legal proceedings, the president flatly dismissed the concerns. Immediately after his re-election as president in April, some of those closest to Macron were still trying to persuade him not to keep Alexis Kohler on as the secretary-general of the Élysée, the top aide's official title. But Emmanuel Macron brushed all advice and warnings.

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