Le Pen charged in EU funds’ mis­use

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

PARIS — French far­right leader Ma­rine Le Pen was charged Fri­day with al­legedly mis­us­ing Euro­pean Par­lia­ment funds to pay two par­lia­men­tary aides who also work at her Na­tional Front party head­quar­ters. Her lawyer said she de­nies the charges and will fight to get the in­ves­ti­ga­tion sus­pended.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors sus­pect that some Na­tional Front law­mak­ers used leg­isla­tive aides for the party’s po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties while they were on the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment pay­roll. Le Pen is pres­i­dent of the far-right Na­tional Front.

The French pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice said Le Pen was sum­moned and handed pre­lim­i­nary charges of breach of trust and com­plic­ity in breach of trust con­cern­ing two par­lia­men­tary aides when she served at the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment.

Le Pen is sus­pected of us­ing par­lia­men­tary funds to pay Cather­ine Griset from 2009 to 2016 and body­guard Thierry Legier from 2014 to 2016 for work­ing as aides in Stras­bourg, seat of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, even though they also have roles in the Na­tional Front. Griset was charged in Fe­bru­ary for al­legedly re­ceiv­ing money through a breach of trust.

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