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

Marine Le Pen

Ms Le Pen has denied the allegations, which she called political "persecution" against her.

Funding the EU Parliament has allocated for assistants to National Front deputies is believed to have gone to fake jobs, and to have been used for party activities inside France instead.

Marine Le Pen, the leader of France's far-right National Front party, who made a failed bid for the French Presidency against Emmanuel Macron this spring, has been charged with criminal breach of trust for allegedly defrauding with fake jobs the Parliament of the European Union of Euro 5 million (USD 5.7 million) in EU funding.

Prosecutors placed her under formal investigation for breach of trust. Due to that win, Le Pen gave up her seat in the European Parliament.

The case was brought as a result of a complaint from the European parliament which accused FN of defrauding it on a large scale.

In her manifesto Le Pen promised to create an "improved" form of civil unions in the country to "replace" the equal marriage law passed under the current Socialist government.

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Her lawyer Rodolphe Bosselut confirmed on Friday afternoon, with several National front politicians also under investigation.

Those pictures saw her placed under investigation for the "dissemination of violent images".

Both the Front National and Ms. Le Pen have denied any wrongdoing and when allegations emerged during the second round of the presidential election dismissed them as being politically motivated.

Le Pen, who reached the final round of the presidential election in May and was squarely beaten by Emmanuel Macron, had invoked her immunity as a member of the European parliament in refusing to answer questions from investigators during the election campaign.

Le Pen had refused to obey previous summons issued during her failed bid to become French president.

Other European parliamentarians, including Le Pen's father Jean-Marie Le Pen and her companion Louis Aliot, have also been investigated for allegedly misusing parliamentary aides' wages.

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