Published: Sun, July 02, 2017
Technology | By Ramiro Moody

French authorities charge Marine Le Pen over misuse of European Union funds

French authorities charge Marine Le Pen over misuse of European Union funds

Le Pen has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and claimed the allegations are political "persecution" against her.

French far-right leader and former presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has been charged in connection with a probe into whether her National Front party misused funds at the European Parliament.

They believe the money went to paying FN employees in France, rather than those working in Brussels. She was also charged with complicity of breach of trust for her wider role as head of the party.

Ms Le Pen had refused to answer questions on the matter during the campaign but said she would co-operate after the final round of presidential election voting.

Investigators suspect some National Front lawmakers used legislative aides for the party's political activities while they were on the European Parliament payroll.

Earlier this year, in April, it was reported that the EU Parliament believed fake jobs involving Marine Le Pen's National Front party had cost the institution almost Euro 5 million (USD 5.5 million). Since then, Le Pen has maintained her innocence and said that she would cooperate fully with any investigation once the election had concluded.

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Ms Le Pen's lawyer, Rodolphe Bosselut said investigating magistrates in Paris had this afternoon summoned her and "as expected charged her".

The centrist MoDem party, which is allied to President Emmanuel Macron's Republic on the Move party, has been targeted in a preliminary probe over similar allegations involving assistants' salaries.

Those pictures saw her placed under investigation for the "dissemination of violent images".

Ms. Le Pen faces an indictment of "breach of trust" as part of an ongoing investigation by French authorities into the paying of European Union parliamentary assistants.

Other European parliamentarians, including Le Pen's father Jean-Marie Le Pen and her companion Louis Aliot, have also been investigated for allegedly misusing parliamentary aides' wages.

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