Far-right French leader Marine Le Pen charged in European Union funding scandal

Marine Le Pen

Marine Le Pen, the leader of France's National Front party, has been formally placed under investigation in connection with a corruption scandal, a spokesman for the far-right party told CNN on Friday.

Le Pen, who remains party leader despite calls for her to resign following this year's failed presidential election campaign, has twice denied summonses from judges and police regarding the case. She was then charged in a process known as "mise en examen" triggered when there is serious and consistent evidence showing likely involvement in a case.

Le Pen's office said that the sum was going toward paying around 40 parliamentary assistants from 2012 til now.

Other European parliamentarians, including Le Pen's father Jean-Marie Le Pen and her companion Louis Aliot, have also been on the radar of the European investigative body OLAF for allegedly misusing parliamentary aides' wages.

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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 US dollars), after she claimed they were European parliamentary assistants.

Le Pen denies the charges and plans to file at the Appeals Court on Monday demanding that the preliminary charges be annulled due to "the violation of the principle of separation of powers", her lawyer, Rodolphe Bosselut, said in a statement.

Le Pen is no longer a member of the European parliament but was elected earlier this month to the French parliament for the first time after winning a seat in the northern, former coal mining region of Pas-de-Calais.

She was decisively beaten by pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron.

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