Hollande ‘deeply regrets’ remarks on ‘cowardly’ judges

French President Francois Hollande on Friday said he "deeply regretted" that senior judges were insulted by critical remarks he made in a new book.

Hollande 'deeply regrets' remarks on 'cowardly' judges
Photo: AFP
In a book by two journalists from the daily Le Monde published Thursday, Hollande described the justice system as “a cowardly institution”, saying “these prosecutors, these senior judges, act all virtuous while keeping their heads down.”
The book, based on dozens of interviews with Hollande, contained a raft of embarrassing revelations as he nears the end of his mandate with a re-election bid still hanging in the balance.
“I deeply regret what has been taken as an insult by judges whose courage and devotion to their difficult work I admire every day,” the Socialist leader wrote in a letter to the country's top judges, saying the remarks were misinterpreted.
In the letter, hand-delivered by his Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas to the High Council of the Magistrature, Hollande said the remarks had “no relation to my true thinking.”
It was also addressed to the judges' union USM.
Top judicial officials slammed the remarks Thursday as “degrading” and “humiliating”.

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French president’s ex girlfriend says she has been sacked by magazine

Valerie Trierweiler, the ex-girlfriend of former French president François Hollande, said on Thursday that she had been sacked by Paris Match magazine.

French president's ex girlfriend says she has been sacked by magazine
Valerie Trierweiler wrote a tell-all book about the former president's affair. Photo: AFP

The journalist took revenge on Hollande for spurning her for actress Julie Gayet with a sensational 2014 kiss-and-tell memoir called Thank You for This Moment, which all but sank Hollande's presidency.

The book became an instant bestseller, and Hollande, a Socialist, never lived down his alleged references to the “toothless” poor.

Trierweiler, 55, had worked for the glossy weekly as a political correspondent, interviewer and columnist for three decades.


“I discovered in the middle of my summer holidays in an extremely brutal way that I have been sacked from Paris Match after 30 years,” Trierweiler said on Twitter.

“This sacking was for no reason and has left me shocked and astonished,” she added.

Trierweiler was famously admitted to hospital after Hollande's affair was revealed by paparazzi images of his nightly visits by scooter to Gayet's apartment.

The politician had tried to portray himself as a safe pair of hands “Mr Normal” in contrast to his mercurial predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy.

As well as spending most of her career at Paris Match, Trierweiler also interviews politicians for the French television channel Direct 8.