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French prosecutors open investigation into Solidarity Minister Damien Abad after rape accusations

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The Paris prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday it had opened an investigation into French disability minister Damien Abad on suspicion of attempted rape, a charge his lawyer denied.

Prosecutors took the procedural step after a woman filed a criminal complaint against the former conservative lawmaker who joined President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist political camp after Macron’s re-election earlier this year.

“Damien Abad acknowledges this logical consequence (of the complaint) and will soon be able to prove his innocence,” Abad’s lawyer said in a statement.

He had previously strenuously denied all allegations of rape and other sexual misconduct by various women against him through the press.

Opposition politicians have been calling on Abad to resign in recent weeks.

The scandal has damaged Macron’s government, which is likely to be under review in the coming days after Macron’s center lost its majority in this month’s parliamentary elections.


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