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Marine Le Pen formally investigated over EU Parliament funding scandal

Marine Le Pen formally investigated over EU Parliament funding scandal

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

Le Pen ran her presidential campaign under an aggressively xenophobic, White Nationalist Platform which included aggressive anti-Immigrant policies.

Under French law, being put under formal investigation means there is "serious or consistent evidence" that points to probable involvement in a crime. Last February, Le Pen's chief-of-staff Catherine Griset was placed under formal investigation by a financial court, while her longtime bodyguard Thierry Legier was questioned.

The allegations concern spending by the Front National, the far-right political party of which Ms Le Pen is leader. Bosselut added that Le Pen would launch an appeal against the investigation.

Le Pen has already had her parliamentary immunity lifted over a separate case from 2015 when she shared graphic pictures of atrocities committed by the Islamic State group on her Twitter account.

Le Pen refused to be interrogated and simply made a statement during a face-off with investigative judges, her lawyer, Rodolphe Bosselut, said in a Twitter post. Five million euro ($5.4 million) in parliament funds was allegedly paid to about 40 party staffers beginning in 2012, who were not working for members of the European Parliament but rather on party issues.

The 48 year old head of the National Front is being investigated for breach of trust and has denied any wrongdoing. Instead, she lost 66% to 34%.


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