France's Marine Le Pen charged over misuse of EU?funds
01 July, 2017, 00:23 | Author: Essie Rivera
It was announced this week that Marine Le Pen was placed under formal investigation - the French equivalent of being charged - for allegedly misusing funds given by the European Union. She was then charged in a process known as "mise en examen" triggered when there is serious and consistent evidence showing likely involvement in a case.
Ms Le Pen, 48, has also denied any wrongdoing and has said the case is politically motivated. He will appeal the investigative judges' decision, which he said is in breach of the principle of separation of powers.
Her lawyer said she had been summoned by magistrates in Paris and "as expected, placed under criminal investigation".
Investigators suspect that the party took money reserved for the salaries of European parliamentary assistants and used it to fund staff working for the National Front.
Far-right French leader Marine Le Pen charged in EU funding scandal
The European Parliament believes the money went to National Front employees working for the party in France rather than those working for the party's lawmakers in Brussels. All have denied any wrongdoing.
The far-right politician was beaten in the final round of the French Presidential election earlier this year by centrist Emmanuel Macron.
In legislative elections held directly afterwards she won a seat in the northern former coalmining region of Pas-de-Calais.
She had invoked parliamentary immunity as a member of the European Parliament during her presidential and parliamentary campaigns but had pledged to cooperate with the investigation once the campaigns were over.
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