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Sciences Po director Frédéric Mion resigns over Duhamel incest scandal

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Sciences Po President Frederic Mion seen in front of the Institute Thursday, June 6, 2013.
Sciences Po President Frederic Mion seen in front of the Institute Thursday, June 6, 2013.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Jacques Brinon
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The director of Paris' prestigious Institute for Political Studies (Sciences Po) resigned on Tuesday amid a scandal surrounding the former president of the foundation that oversees it.

Students had reproached the director, Frédéric Mion, for denying being aware of the actions of Olivier Duhamel, who resigned early last month as president of the National Foundation of Political Science that oversees the school.

Duhamel was accused by French academic and lawyer Camille Kouchner, of having sexually abused her twin brother when he was 14 years old. Duhamel was the second husband of Kouchner's mother.

France's Ministry of Higher Education announced in mid-January that they would launch an inspection of SciencesPo to establish any inconsistencies or flaws in the school's handling of the accusations against Duhamel.

Although the provisional report "confirms that no system of concerted silence or complacency has existed within our establishment," wrote Frédéric Mion in his resignation letter.

It "nonetheless points to errors of judgment on my part in the treatment of the allegations which were communicated to me in 2018, as well as inconsistencies in the way I expressed myself on the progression of this case after it broke."

The school community has gone through a "very painful moment" since the accusations were revealed, he added.

"All my decisions have been guided by the desire to protect our establishment, its employees, its teachers, its researchers and its student community from this matter in which they had no part," Mion said.

When the revelations first emerged, Mion had expressed his shock over the case.

But he later admitted in Le Monde, that former culture minister Aurélie Filippetti had alerted him in 2018 of accusations of incest against Olivier Duhamel.