August 22, 2019 / 10:39 AM / 2 months ago

French financial prosecutor drops probe into top Macron official Kohler

FILE PHOTO: General secretary of the presidency Alexis Kohler (L) arrives to be questionned by French Senators about presidential aide Alexandre Benalla (not pictured), at the Senate in Paris, France, July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

PARIS (Reuters) - The office of France’s financial prosecutor on Thursday dropped a probe into Alexis Kohler, President Emmanuel Macron’s top official at the Elysee palace, saying it found no evidence of wrongdoing in an investigation into conflict of interest.

The prosecutor was investigating whether Kohler breached conflict of interest rules while working for the state given his personal ties with the Swiss-Italian Mediterranean Shipping Company.

Investigative journalism website Mediapart last year reported Kohler had not properly disclosed his links to MSC while he held a senior position at the French finance ministry during the previous administration.

“After a one-year investigation, analysis of evidence collected by anti-corruption police doesn’t allow us to confirm the offences initially suspected,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

Macron’s office has previously said Kohler at no time hid his family ties to the Aponte family that founded and still owns MSC.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Edited by Inti Landauro and Richard Lough

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