France: Presidential candidate Francois Fillon searched over wife’s ‘fake job’

By: IANS | Paris | Published:February 1, 2017 8:06 am
Francois Fillon, former French prime minister, member of The Republicans political party and 2017 presidential candidate of the French centre-right, attends a business conference in Paris, France, January 31, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Investigators searched the lower chamber of the French Parliament as part of a probe into allegations that the wife of French presidential candidate Francois Fillon earned money in a fake job. At least one reporter at the scene witnessed agents belonging to France’s anti-corruption agency, who on Monday questioned centre-right candidate Fillon and his Welsh wife Penelope, enter the National Assembly — France’s lower house of Parliament, Efe news reported.

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Fillon has denied the allegations — published by satirical weekly “Le Canard Enchainé” — that his wife earned 500,000 euros ($535,050) of public funds as a parliamentary adviser, despite not actually doing the job. While he said the accusations were part of a smear campaign, the investigators reportedly searched Fillon’s own office. Fillon was widely regarded as a favourite in the upcoming French presidential elections where he is to run against far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen, Socialist Party candidate Benoit Hamon and the centrist Emmanuel Macron.

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