Authorities in France have opened an investigation into allegations of politicians flouting the country’s pandemic restrictions by attending secret luxury dinners.
The Paris prosecutor’s office announced Sunday it will identify the organizers and participants of the secret dinners, and launch an investigation into possible charges of endangering others, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Journalists from broadcaster M6 captured the dinner with hidden cameras. Neither the guests nor the waiters wore masks or respected social distancing guidelines.
Caviar, champagne, menus de grands chefs et retrait du masque obligatoire…Nos journalistes ont pu pénétrer dans ces fêtes clandestines de haut standing qui se tiennent actuellement à Paris.
????@frvignolle Armelle Mehani et @CyrielleStadler en exclusivité pour le ????#19h45 pic.twitter.com/ClXpIWrVwZ
— M6info (@m6info) April 2, 2021
The alleged organizer of the evening told the journalists they had dined “in two or three so-called illegal restaurants, with a certain number of ministers.” (RELATED: Here Are The Lawmakers Who Refused To Stay Home After Telling You To)
Several French politicians denied knowledge of the dinners, the AP reported. “All ministers, without exception, respect the rule. No one thinks they have the right to any privilege [to flout the rules]whatsoever,” Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire said, according to France 24.
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said in a tweet he had requested the Prefect of the Paris Police to “verify the accuracy of the reported facts.”
A la suite du reportage de M6, j’ai demandé au Préfet de police de Paris de vérifier l’exactitude des faits rapportés afin, s’ils sont vérifiés, de poursuivre les organisateurs et les participants de ces dîners clandestins.
— Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) April 4, 2021
The unidentified person in the video retracted his claim of dining with politicians at illegal events, but the investigation remains ongoing, the AP reported.
France mandated a four weeks long partial lockdown across the country Sunday as hospitals in all of France face increasing pressure, with the onset of a third deadly wave of COVID-19, according to Euronews.