The investigating judges in charge of the investigation into suspicions of fictitious jobs of MEPs assistants of the National Rally (RN) closed their investigations last week, AFP learned on Monday from sources familiar with the matter, confirming information from France Info. The parties now have three months to make observations and requests for acts before the prosecution’s requisitions and then the final decision of the investigating magistrates on a possible referral to court.
In total, 29 elected officials and assistants, including the president of RN Marine Le Pen, his father Jean-Marie and senior party officials, are indicted, most for “embezzlement of public funds”, in this investigation opened in March 2015 and entrusted at the end of 2016 to financial investigating judges of the Paris court . The last to be indicted is MEP Jean-François Jalkh, RN lawyer, on July 6.
Marine Le Pen’s lawyer was unreachable late Monday afternoon to comment on this information. “We are waiting to know the indictment of the prosecution,” for his part reacted to AFP Me François Wagner, lawyer for Jean-Marie Le Pen, who did not wish to make any other comments.
The magistrates suspect the RN of having “in a concerted and deliberate manner” set up a “system of diversion” of the envelopes (21,000 euros per month) allocated by the European Union (EU) to each member to pay parliamentary assistants. The latter would have actually worked, in whole or in part, for the frontist party, allowing it substantial savings in wages.
The European Parliament, civil party, reassessed in 2018 its damage to 6.8 million euros in this case, which then led to separate investigations in Paris on the assistants of MEPs from the MoDem and the leader of France. Insoumise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon.