French police question Le Pen aides over"fake job" allegations

French police question Le Pen aides over"fake job" allegationsFrench anti-graft police on Wednesday questioned two aides to far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen over suspicions her party defrauded the European Parliament of about 340,000 euros ($360,000), AFP reported.

A source in Le Pen's National Front (FN) party confirmed that her bodyguard Thierry Legier and her personal assistant Catherine Griset were questioned in Nanterre, a western suburb of Paris where the party has its headquarters, as part of a probe launched in December.

The European Parliament accuses Le Pen, a deputy in the chamber, of using parliamentary funds to pay Legier and Griset while they worked for the FN elsewhere.

The body began docking half of Le Pen's parliamentary salary of 16,000 euros this month after she refused to repay the funds.

The FN leader has angrily denied the allegations, and on Wednesday again described the investigation as a vendetta against her.

"The French people are well aware of the difference between genuine cases and political intrigues," she told reporters at a campaign stop.

Marcel Ceccaldi, Le Pen's lawyer, told Reuters that the affair was a "manipulation" aimed at destabilizing the National Front's election campaign.

On Monday, police raided the FN's Nanterre headquarters for a second time, the party said.
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