French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen accused of embezzling EU funds

The report has been submitted to the French court. The Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office confirmed to Agence France-Presse that it had received the document on March 11, and that it is currently being analyzed.

Marine Le Pen sat in the European Parliament from 2004 to 2017 for the far-right National Front, which is now back in the National Rally. During that period it is said to have used the resources made available by Parliament to collaborators for national political purposes, personal expenses and services to business firms closely associated with the National Front or with Europe Liberty and Nations, the right-wing populist faction in the European Parliament.

According to the European anti-fraud body, Olaf, it comes to a total of 600 thousand euros, of which 137 thousand euros is from Marine Le Pen. The anti-fraud office is asking for that money to be repaid. In addition to Le Pen’s name, the names of three former members of the European Parliament also appear in the report. It is related to her father Jean-Marie Le Pen and her ex-partner Louis Eliot and Bruno Golnich, a board member of the National Rally Party.

Marine Le Pen’s attorney, Rodolphe Posselot, notes that the allegations date back more than a decade. “I am amazed at the timing of the disclosure,” he told AFP. Bocilot also talks about the “exploitation” of the report. Le Pen will face incumbent President Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the French presidential elections within a week.

Her lawyer confirmed that Le Pen has not yet been summoned. Boscilot said the investigation has been ongoing since 2006, and Le Pen was questioned in the spring of 2021, albeit by mail. Neither he nor Le Pen have been able to see Olaf’s final report yet.

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Marine Le Pen was actually prosecuted in 2017 in a case related to a fictitious work in the European Parliament. She would pay party officials with European money. She herself denied the accusation.

Denton Watson

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