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French investigators probing Le Pen's 2022 campaign finances

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
French investigators probing Le Pen's 2022 campaign finances
Marine Le Pen while campaigning for the French presidency in Paris in 2022. (Photo by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP)

French investigators are looking into far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen's 2022 campaign finances for an election she lost to President Emmanuel Macron, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

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A probe was opened on July 2nd to examine allegations of embezzlement, forgery, fraud, and that a candidate on an electoral campaign accepted a loan, the Paris prosecutor's office said, giving no further details.

A national commission in charge of scrutinising campaign finances called the CNCCFP had alerted the prosecutor's office last year.

Le Pen, then head of the far-right National Rally (RN) party, had invested around €11.5 million in her third bid for the presidency in 2022, the second time she faced Macron in the run-off and lost to him.

In December 2022, the CNCCFP had objected to expenses linked to putting up and taking down campaigning material on twelve buses, describing it as "irregular".

The RN leader had appealed but then dropped the case.

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In her earlier campaign against Macron in 2017, the commission had rejected €873,576 in spending, most of which had been a loan from the then Front National before it was renamed the RN and a micro-party of her father, far-right firebrand Jean-Marie Le Pen. She did not appeal.

Last month, the country's top court upheld a conviction against the RN for overcharging the state for the campaigning kits used by its candidates during the 2012 parliamentary polls.

A court is to judge Le Pen, who was re-elected to parliament on Sunday, along with 24 other people and the party from September 30 over alleged embezzlement of EU funds linked to the salaries of MEP assistants between 2004 and 2016.

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