Fillon's spokesman is investigated for tax evasion

Fillon's spokesman is investigated for tax evasionThe campaign of French presidential candidate Francois Fillon has been hit by another scandalous allegations in the media, BBC said on Wednesday, citing French satirical weekly newspaper the Canard Enchaine.

According to the newspaper, Fillon's spokesman, Thierry Solere, is being investigated for alleged tax evasion.

The Canard Enchaine reported that Solere was the target of a preliminary tax fraud investigation by the public prosecutor in the Paris suburb of Nanterre. The prosecutor confirmed the preliminary investigation but would not comment further.

Among other claims are questions about whether Solere failed to pay a portion of his income taxes from 2010 to 2013. But later on BFMTV, Solere denied any fraud allegations and said he would sue the weekly for libel for "recycling" old claims which had been dealt with. He said he had "always declared my income" and was currently "up to date with my taxes".

Still the allegations are another blow for Fillon, as he clings on to the centre-right candidacy nine weeks before elections.

Fillon and his family are the subject of a preliminary investigation into claims, which also originated in the Canard Enchaine, that his wife and two of his children were paid hundreds of thousands of euros for non-existent parliamentary work.

Before the claims surfaced, Fillon was the favourite to win the presidency, but polls now show him running third behind the National Front's Marine Le Pen and independent centrist Emmanuel Macron.

On Tuesday, Fillon once again faced down demands to stand aside in favour of another candidate - this time from 20 lawmakers within his own Republicans Party.
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