François Fillon under formal investigation for ‘fake jobs offences’

Decision over allegations of misuse of public funds increases pressure on campaign of French presidential candidate

The rightwing French presidential candidate François Fillon has been placed under formal investigation for misuse of public funds, prosecutors say.

Fillon is alleged to have given his wife and children generous tax-payer-funded “fake jobs” as parliamentary assistants.

Prosecutors said on Tuesday that Fillon was accused of receiving money from the misuse of public funds, and of improper declaration of his assets, among other charges.

Six weeks ago the French weekly Le Canard Enchaîné broke the biggest political scandal of the French presidential campaign when it claimed Fillon paid his wife at least €680,000 of taxpayers’ money for a fake parliamentary assistant job spanning 15 years.

He was also suspected of giving two of his children fake jobs as parliamentary assistants when he was a senator and they still students. Fillon has denied breaking the law.

The investigating judges’ move to place Fillon under formal investigation – which in the French justice system does not confirm wrongdoing but means investigators have serious grounds for pursuing a matter – increases the pressure on him.

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Source By https://www.theguardian.com

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