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Macron’s chief of staff charged over alleged conflict of interest

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron’s chief of staff has been placed under formal investigation after being accused of failing to disclose alleged links to a shipping giant.

Alexis Kohler, Macron’s most trusted adviser, is seen by many as the power behind the throne, with few decisions taken without his input.

The alleged misconduct dates back to before Kohler joined the Elysée.

French anti-corruption association Anticor accused Kohler of breaking conflict-of-interest rules because he has family links to the owners of Swiss-Italian shipping company MSC, for whom he worked in between two government jobs, the latter of which was as a senior official in Macron’s team at the finance ministry in 2014-2016. Anticor said Kohler did not disclose the family links to MSC.

Kohler’s lawyer said his client denies any wrongdoing. According to France Info, Kohler’s job is safe.

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