Corruption in France: Marine Le Pen faces serious charges

Leader of the National Rally, Marine Le Pen is running for the third time in the 2022 presidential elections. Now qualified for the second round with 23.15% of the vote, the MP will meet Emmanuel Macron on April 24, 2022, for revenge after his defeat in 2017.

However, French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen and her entourage have been accused of misappropriating around 600,000 euros from European public funds during their tenure as MEPs. This accusation comes from the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), according to a new report unveiled on Saturday April 16, 2022 and sent to French justice. Asked by AFP, the Paris prosecutor’s office said it was informed on March 11, 2022 of this report, which is currently being analyzed.

This new OLAF report deals with the expenses that political groups may incur in respect of their mandate as Members of Parliament and that Marine Le Pen and her close associates have had to use in the context of national politics, for their personal expenses or services for commercial companies linked to his party, the Rassemblement National (RN) and to the far-right parliamentary group Europe des Nations et des Libertés (ENL).

Marine Le Pen, accomplice in a case of embezzlement of public funds, what reaction?

OLAF involves Marine Le Pen, along with three other former MEPs – Marine Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, her ex-companion Louis Aliot and Bruno Gollnisch, a member of the RN’s national bureau – and ENL.

The office accuses them of misappropriation of funds of around 600,000 euros, which it demands reimbursement. Marine Le Pen has not reacted directly to these accusations against her for the moment. Nor more than the three other personalities mentioned. However, the candidate’s camp has strongly denied these accusations.

Also according to this report, the candidate of the National Rally would have hijacked in a personal capacity? around 137,000 euros in public funds from the Strasbourg Parliament when she was a Member of the European Parliament, i.e. between 2004 and 2017. opened in Paris concerning suspicions of fictitious jobs within the European Parliament of party assistants. She is being prosecuted for “embezzlement of public funds” as well as for “complicity” in this offense under this investigation.

“I am surprised by the always strong timing about the revelation” and its “instrumentalization” launched Rodolphe Bosselut, Marine Le Pen’s lawyer, with AFP, campaigning for the second round of the presidential election. , which will take place on April 24, and during which she will face centrist outgoing President Emmanuel Macron.

Mr. Bosselut also claims to be shocked by the way in which OLAF (European Anti-Fraud Office) intervenes, without the slightest adversarial procedure and for events dating for some of more than ten years. Marine Le Pen “has not been summoned by any French judicial authority whatsoever”, he added, also regretting the fact that neither he nor his client are recipients of the final report. “Marine Le Pen disputes it. She contests without having access to the report, without having access to the indictments. It is an instrumentalization, but I am unfortunately not surprised” insists the same source. For him, the OLAF investigation procedure has been underway since 2016 and Marine Le Pen was questioned by mail in March 2021.

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