NewsMarine Le Pen's campaign under investigation for illegal financing

Marine Le Pen's campaign under investigation for illegal financing

Marine Le Penm, the leader of the National Front (now the National Rally), ran for the office of President of France in 2012, 2017 and 2022.
Marine Le Penm, the leader of the National Front (now the National Rally), ran for the office of President of France in 2012, 2017 and 2022.
Images source: © Getty Images | 2024 Christian Liewig - Corbis

9 July 2024 13:18

The Paris prosecutor's office confirmed on Tuesday that it had launched an investigation following a report by the Commission on Campaign Finance. Investigators are examining suspicions regarding the "misappropriation of property by public officials." In 2023, Marine Le Pen's campaign may have been illegally funded.

The prosecutor's decision was made on 2 July, following a report by the National Commission on Campaign and Political Financing. The team examining electoral finances found irregularities that may constitute a crime.

According to "Libération," the commission has not yet specified the nature of these irregularities. However, they concern Marine Le Pen's campaign account in the 2022 presidential elections.

The prosecutor’s office states that it involves a loan from a legal entity granted to a candidate in the election campaign. The charges may concern not only borrowing the funds but also consenting to receive these funds and deliberate misuse of funds against the regulations.

Candidates are prohibited from exceeding the spending limit set by law during every election in France. Therefore, the CNCCFP, equipped with additional invoices, closely monitors the financial reports of each candidate participating in the campaign to ensure that expenditures were carried out according to plan and the law.

Marine Le Pen is in trouble. Suspected of illegal financing of the presidential campaign

If the candidates adhered to the established rules and achieved a 5-percent support threshold in the elections, the state reimbursed them for part of the campaign costs. However, if controllers find errors and irregularities, the CNCCFP can make adjustments and reduce the state's reimbursement and, if necessary, implement other restrictive measures.

When asked a few weeks ago by French television BFMTV, the commission admitted that it "quite often" reported to the prosecutor's office, especially the Paris prosecutor's office, facts that could constitute a crime. The leader of the right-wing movement that could have won the French parliamentary elections on 7 July 2024, has previously been accused of minor ways to circumvent the law.

Marine Le Pen's right-wing party has already been accused of overcharging for a wide range of equipment—leaflets, "personalised" posters, websites, and even services—for which invoices submitted to the CNCCFP were meant to substantiate campaign expenses in the 2012 elections.

According to French media, Marine Le Pen is not the only presidential candidate whose campaign finances will be investigated further by the prosecutor's office.

However, according to BFMTV, Marine Le Pen will not be the only candidate in the 2022 presidential elections to be the subject of prosecutor's inquiries. The National Commission on Campaign Accounts report indicates more irregularities.

Source: "Libération"

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