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French Far-right's Le Pen Faces Funding Scandal Probe

French Far-right's Le Pen Faces Funding Scandal Probe

Marine Le Pen has been charged over claims her party illegally claimed millions of Euros from the European Parliament.

"In accordance with her commitments made during the presidential campaign, Marine Le Pen complied with the judges' summons", news channel BFMV quoted her lawyer as saying. The legal step taken means prosecutors believe there is "serious or consistent evidence" that indicates probable involvement in a crime.

Ms Le Pen has denied the allegations, which she called political "persecution" against her.

In a statement, her lawyer said she would launch an appeal. Since then, Le Pen has maintained her innocence and said that she would cooperate fully with any investigation once the election had concluded.

The French judiciary has already requested that the European Parliament lift Le Pen's immunity.

She later won a seat in the French parliament in legislative elections.

The European Parliament has accused Le Pen of paying party staff working in France with European Union (EU) funds worth 340,000 euros (387,690 USA dollars), after she claimed they were European parliamentary assistants.

Le Pen is one of 17 Front National European lawmakers - along with her estranged father Jean-Marie Le Pen - who are being investigated over salaries paid to about 40 parliamentary assistants. The FN leader has previously denied wrongdoing.

Ms Le Pen was soundly beaten by Emmanuel Macron, by 66% to 34%.

Rodolphe Bosselut said investigating magistrates in Paris had summoned Ms Le Pen and "as expected, charged her".

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