Far-right leader Marine Le Pen charged with European Union funds misuse

Marine Le Pen has denied any wrongdoingMore

Marine Le Pen has denied any wrongdoingMore

French far-right leader and former presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has been charged in connection with a probe into whether her National Front party misused funds at the European Parliament.

Le Pen had refused to obey previous summons issued during her failed bid to become French president. Due to that win, Le Pen gave up her seat in the European Parliament. She was also charged for being complicit in the whole party's breach of trust, as the party leader.

A total of 16 other National Front lawmakers, including Le Pen's estranged father Jean-Marie Le Pen, are being investigated for paying salaries to approximately 40 parliamentary assistants.

After investigators probing the fake jobs scandal raided the National Front headquarters Le Pen's chief of staff Catherine Griset was questioned at length and was charged with concealment. Le Pen has consistently denied the allegations against herself, saying that they were the work of her political opponents. Since then, Le Pen has maintained her innocence and said that she would cooperate fully with any investigation once the election had concluded.

The policy plan specified that the changes would "not be retroactive", sparing Le Pen the potential headache of trying to unpick or downgrade thousands of existing same-sex marriages, but the replacement plan would have closed same-sex marriage to new couples - meaning gays would have once again only be able to enter civil partnerships.

Investigators suspect some National Front lawmakers used legislative aides for the party's political activities while they were on the European Parliament payroll.

Le Pen denies the charges.

Her lawyer Rodolphe Bosselut confirmed on Friday afternoon, with several National front politicians also under investigation. Because of that, she had been placed under investigation for "dissemination of violent images".

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