PARIS - MORE than 500 French magistrates have sent a letter to Justice Minister Rachida Dati demanding a public apology over the questioning of one of their colleagues, the daily Le Figaro reported on Wednesday.
The letter, signed by many mid-level officials as well as superior and appeal court judges, also criticised the minister for her 'incoherent' policies.
The magistrates complained of improper pressure by Ms Dati and her ministry when five judicial inspectors detained and questioned in the middle of the night a local prosecutor after a 16-year-old boy committed suicide in a prison in the eastern city of Metz last month.
Ms Dati, when questioned by Le Figaro, denied having any involvement in the case.
Regarding her performance in office, the minister said 'I am implementing a strict penal policy that the French people want and the parliament has approved, which essentially aims to protect citizens and battle against recidivism'.