The brother of France’s new justice minister Rachida Dati is to appear before an appeal court here next week after being convicted for dealing drugs, legal officials said Friday.
Jamal Dati, 35, was summoned to the appeal court in the eastern city of Nancy after prosecutors said the six-month suspended sentence he got in February for selling drugs was too lenient.
Le Parisien newspaper, which broke the news Friday, said Jamal Dati had in 2001 been convicted for dealing in heroin in the area around his home town of Chalon-sur-Saone.
He was sentenced to three years in jail, 18 months of which was suspended.
When he got out of jail he moved north to the town of Verdun, where he was arrested last year for the latest drug offence.
A justice ministry official said ‘it is a case that the minister knows about but which is not the subject of any particular attention in the ministry.’
Rachida Dati, a 41-year-old newcomer to government who shot to national attention this year as President Nicolas Sarkozy’s election campaign spokeswoman, is the first Muslim politician to hold a top French government job.
Her appointment broke new ground in a country where the millions of north and west African immigrants and their children are severely under-represented in public life -- an imbalance seen as one of the reasons behind country-wide riots in 2005.
Dati grew up on a public housing estate in the eastern city of Chalon-sur-Saone, the daughter of a Moroccan labourer and an illiterate Algerian mother.
The second of 12 children, she worked her way through her studies as a nursing assistant, earning a raft of degrees in law, economics and business.
For a time she served as Sarkozy’s advisor on delinquency.
As justice minister, she is in charge of rolling out Sarkozy’s planned reform of criminal law that would toughen sentences for young offenders.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Temmuz 2007, 16:24