• France's news in English

Feud-hit National Front now face fraud charges

The Local · 7 May 2015, 08:25

Published: 07 May 2015 08:25 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A "micro-party" used by FN leader Marine Le Pen as a promotion vehicle during  2012 legislative elections was charged with fraud as part of an ongoing probe into the financing of the campaign, a source close to the investigation told AFP.

The structure, named Jeanne, is suspected of having received illicit financing from the Riwal events company, which has already been charged along with five other people in the probe.

The news comes after a gruelling week for the anti-EU and anti-immigration National Front.

Its co-founder Jean-Marie Le Pen was unceremoniously suspended by his daughter Marine who now leads the party over his controversial comments dismissing Nazi gas chambers and defending the "white world".

Marine Le Pen, 46, and other party leaders have put their foot down over the statements that represent a view of the FN they are trying to leave in the past: overtly racist, anti-Semitic and too polarising to win votes.

The 86-year-old patriarch of the party viciously hit back at his daughter, saying he no longer thought she should be president and that he was "ashamed" she carried his name.

However Marine said on a visit to Prague Wednesday she was not afraid of any "nuisance" from her firebrand father who threatened her with a "merciless battle".

"The events that took place were painful but absolutely necessary and unavoidable," she said, adding that the FN was no longer a protest movement but a governing movement trying to get into power.

"Jean-Marie Le Pen is free to do as he wishes, he is a citizen and if he wishes to create another party, well, he will do so."

The acrimonious public spat came as a report revealed the octogenarian had hid 2.2 million euros ($2.4 million) in a secret account in Switzerland.

Story continues below…

In 2013, the former paratrooper admitted he kept an account in Switzerland at UBS that he had opened in 1981.

The longtime FN leader and current European parliament member has been under investigation since late 2013 over undeclared assets estimated at €1.1 million.

The FN is also under investigation by the European Parliament for suspected fraud totalling 7.5 million euros ($8.1 million) over salaries paid to EU parliamentary assistants.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

The newest French films you need to see before you die (or alternatively when you get some spare time).

Election Watch
Presidential hopeful reckons a pain au chocolat is 10 cents

So France happily takes the pastry out of him.

French ministry of defence officials die in plane crash
Screengrab: eddydeg/Twitter

The French Ministry of Defence officials were killed on Monday when a light aircraft went down on the island of Malta.

Revealed: The ten most stolen cars in France
A Smart car in Paris. Photo: JR_Paris/Flickr

Thieves in France are getting a taste for luxury cars, it seems.

Analysis - France migrant crisis
Migrant crisis won't end with Calais 'Jungle' closure
All Photos: AFP

The Jungle camp may be being cleared but this won't be the end of the migrant crisis in France.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'to sell their French chateau'
All photos: AFP

Want to live where Brangelina got married?

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available