Marine Le Pen of France's Front National placed under formal investigation

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen
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01 July, 2017

The parliament suspects some €5m (£4m; $5.4m) went to assistants of Ms Le Pen's National Front (FN) who were not working for MEPs but were actually engaged in FN party work in France.

"In line with a commitment made during the presidential campaign, Le Pen responded favorably today to a summons from investigative judges, who as planned, charged her", Bosselut said.

French National Front leader Marine Le Pen is being formally investigated over an ongoing European parliament funding scandal.

In February, the European parliament said it would start docking Le Pen's pay unless she paid the money back.

The formal investigation of Le Pen comes less than two weeks after she won a seat in the French National Assembly.

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Investigators allege the party illegally claimed millions of Euro reserved for European Parliamentary assistants - and used it to fund its own staff. At the time, Le Pen refused to answer questions about the alleged wrongdoing.

The 48 year old head of the National Front is being investigated for breach of trust and has denied any wrongdoing.

The anti-EU nationalist beat the candidates of the traditional right and left to secure a spot in May's presidential run-off against pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron.

Le Pen denies the charges and plans to file at the Appeals Court on Monday demanding that the preliminary charges be annulled due to "the violation of the principle of separation of powers", her lawyer, Rodolphe Bosselut, said in a statement. Instead, she lost 66% to 34%.


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