The French far-right party União Nacional (RN, the original acronym), led by Marine Le Pen, had embezzled 6.8 million euros of money from the European Parliament. The news was presented in the Sunday edition of Le Journal du Dimanche citing a judicial investigation, delivered on February 15 this year to the Investigative Court.
Le Pen has been charged for five years with fraudulent use of public resources in recruiting people who have already worked for the national federation. The leader of the French far-right appears to be charged with 16 other people associated with the party.
The situation goes back to the time when the National Army was led by the father of the current leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, but it will be formed under the presidency of Marine Le Pen, after the 2014 European elections, in which it was done. The far-right party won 24 places. The French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche stated that the administration of appropriations attributed to the appointment of personnel was “central” by the party, allowing only its deputies to choose an assistant and assume responsibility for appointing the rest.
The RN leader responded on her Twitter account, describing Le Journal du Dimanche as “the official organ of the macronesta.” [referência a Emmanuel Mácron, presidente da França]He raises the same issue of the parliamentary assistants as it is in all elections. Nothing new, “he added, referring to the June regional elections.
The party’s treasurer, Eliran de Saint-Just, speaking to the French news channel BFM, accused Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti of being behind the revelations of this investigation. “He spends his life saying he wants to hurt RN as much as possible. This is clearly a political maneuver, right before the regional elections. He uses that newspaper and that story that we don’t know where it came from and this is a bunch of fallacies and slanders,” San-Just said.
There is a 98-page report, delivered on February 15 to the investigating judge, that stated that European money was not only used to pay the salaries of employees who already worked for the party, but to some who had accumulated unjustified work contracts, as Efe describes. The French MP and candidate for the 2022 presidential elections has been presented as being directly responsible for this fraudulent system that will consist of financing party workers’ wages with European money, and transferring funds donated to members of the European Parliament to hire assistants.
According to Le Journal du Dimanche, most suspects alleged that they destroyed their files when changing computers, or kept nothing that would warrant their reward from the European Parliament. Le Pen denied in court on September 5, 2018, that he had committed a fraud, and today, in the French weekly, the lawyer for the leader of the Patriotic Front, Rudolf Bosselot, confirmed that all of the aforementioned parliamentary aides worked “at one time or another” the European structure.
The newspaper also states that the European Parliament did not wait for the completion of the criminal proceedings before demanding the money. In 2016, he asked Le Pen to pay 339,000 euros, and for months he waived part of the appropriations for this purpose, until he recovered about 60,000 euros, but when he left the European Parliament, the transfers stopped.