Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Hollande blasts Fillon over 'untruthful' claim that secret presidential cell leaked scandals

Share this article

Hollande blasts Fillon over 'untruthful' claim that secret presidential cell leaked scandals
Photo: AFP
12:12 CET+01:00
French President Francois Hollande said Friday rightwing presidential candidate Francois Fillon had exceeded the bounds of "dignity and responsibility" by accusing him of being behind a smear campaign.
"I don't want to enter the electoral debate... but there is a dignity, a responsiblity to respect," Hollande, a Socialist, told French radio a month ahead of the presidential election. "Fillon is beyond that now."
Fillon late Thursday accused Hollande of orchestrating media leaks that have dented his image as a scandal-free leader.
"It's been two months that the press had been flinging mud at me," he told France 2 in a prime-time television interview.
He said that Hollande -- who decided in December not to run for re-election -- headed a "secret cabinet" that was responsible for explosive revelations, notably about hiring his wife for allegedly fake jobs on the public payroll.
"Listen, there is a cabinet, thankfully, that works," Hollande said. "You know my position, it has always been for the independence of the judiciary, respect for the presumption of innocence and never to interfere."
An investigation into the fake jobs scandal that first emerged in the satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine in January has led to Fillon being charged this month with misuse of public funds.
Though an MP employing a family member is not illegal in France, Fillon's wife Penelope is accused of doing little for the €680,000 ($725,000) she received in salary.
Fillon was the frontrunner in the election before the scandal broke, and now is not expected to get past the first round on April 23.
Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

Become a Member or sign-in to leave a comment.

From our sponsors

Change the world with a master's degree from Sweden's Linköping University

Master's students at world-leading Linköping University (LiU) aren't there simply to study. They solve real-world problems alongside experts in fields that can create a better tomorrow. Do you have what it takes to join them?