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Marine Le Pen Allegedly Paid Parliamentary Assistants With EU Funds


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.

Prosecutors in France have placed the far-right leader Marine Le Pen under formal investigation as part of a probe into the alleged misuse of European Union funds to pay parliamentary assistants.

The Parliament believes it may have been defrauded to the tune of some €340,000 ($300,000), with payments used to hire staff for party work in France, rather than to assist MEPs in the European Parliament. Griset was charged for allegedly receiving money through a breach of trust.

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.

The fake jobs scandal implicating Le Pen started with an expenses inquiry in which the European Parliament first accused her far-right National Front party of defrauding it to the tune of some Euro 340,000 (USD 360,000). If the judges send Ms Le Pen to trial at the end of their probe, she could face up to three years in prison and a fine of up to €375,000 (S$590,000) if convicted.

Man charged with murder over Ace Hall shooting
Starling said there was "no evidence whatsoever to suggest that this fellow died as a result of the brawl at Seagulls last week". The 31-year-old was immediately treated by doctors, but died soon after.

Le Pen, who is gaining popularity in France that helped her to enter the National Assembly for the first time, dismissed any wrongdoing. She will also seek a suspension of the investigation.

"There is nothing illegal", Florian Philippot, the party's vice president, said.

Several other National Front politicians - including Ms Le Pen's father Jean-Marie Le Pen - are being investigated. Aliot last week refused to respond to a summons by investigators, French media reported.

A total of 17 FN European lawmakers are being investigated over salaries paid to about 40 parliamentary assistants.

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