This is one of the first cases in the world where a minister is facing legal liability for her response to a pandemic.
Buzyn left her post in February 2020 to run for mayor of Paris, saying the coronavirus posed a low risk, and she later spoke of an approaching “tsunami.”
This is one of the first times in the world that a minister is facing legal liability for her response to a pandemic.
A special court, created in France in 1993 to investigate government ministers accused of misconduct, will decide whether to hold her criminally responsible.
At a court hearing on Friday, Buzyn said she welcomed the opportunity to explain herself and “establish the truth.” She added that she would not allow the government’s actions or her own to be discredited “when we have done so much to prepare our country for the global health crisis.”
Buzyn took over as France’s health minister in May 2017 and resigned just weeks after the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in France.
Last year, she lost the election for mayor of Paris to Anne Hidalgo. In January 2021, Buzyn joined the cabinet of Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization (WHO).