Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is accused of fraud in a new report by European fraud agency Olaf. She allegedly embezzled €137,000 of European funds during her term as an MEP.
The report was sent to the courts in France. The Paris prosecutor’s office confirms to AFP that it received the document on March 11 and that it is currently being analyzed.
Marine Le Pen was an MEP from 2004 to 2017 for the far-right National Front, now National Rally. During this period, she would have used the resources made available by Parliament for collaborators for national political purposes, personal expenses and services to commercial companies closely linked to the FN or to the Europe of Freedoms and Nations. , the right-wing populist faction in the European Union Parliament.
According to the European Anti-Fraud Office (Olaf), it is a total of 600,000 euros, including 137,000 euros by Marine Le Pen. The agency demands the reimbursement of this money. Besides Le Pen’s name, the names of three other former FN MEPs also appear in the report. They are his father Jean-Marie Le Pen, his ex-partner Louis Aliot and Bruno Gollnisch, member of the office of the National Rally.
Marine Le Pen’s lawyer, Rodolphe Bosselut, recalls that the allegations date back more than a decade. “I am amazed at the timing of the unveiling,” he told AFP. Le Pen will face incumbent President Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the French presidential election in a week.
Le Pen was not summoned, also underlines his lawyer. The investigation has been ongoing since 2006 and Le Pen was interviewed in the spring of 2021, albeit by mail, Bosselut said. Neither he nor Le Pen has yet been able to see Olaf’s final report.
Marine Le Pen had already been prosecuted in 2017 in a case of fictitious employment in the European Parliament. She would have paid the salaries of party employees with European funds. She herself denied the accusation.
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