12:19 GMT +319 October 2019
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    President of France's far right National Front party Marine Le Pen, delivers her speech during their summer meeting, in Marseille, southern France, Saturday, Sep. 6, 2015.

    France's Front National in Fraud Probe as Le Pen's Misery Deepens

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    The French right-wing Front National (FN) party is under investigation for misusing assets and defrauding the state during the 2012 parliamentary election, dealing a further blow to its leader Marine Le Pen.

    She is embroiled in a bitter row with her father, who has been expelled from the party and announced last weekend he is setting up a rival party called the "Blue-White-Red Rally", after the colors of the French Flag.

    Marine Le Pen is keen to distance herself from her father, who has attracted severe criticism over his views on the Holocaust, as she prepares the way to challenge for the French presidency in 2017.

    French far-right Front National leader Marine Le Pen and her father Jean-Marie Le Pen in Lyon, central France.
    © AP Photo / Laurent Cipriani
    French far-right Front National leader Marine Le Pen and her father Jean-Marie Le Pen in Lyon, central France.

    The FN was indicted as a corporation, Wednesday, for the misuse of company property and fraud. Wallerand de Saint Just, the party treasurer said: "We are innocent of all the charges against us," as well as denouncing "the fury of the public prosecutor of Paris."

    Six people have been indicted in the case, including Frederic Chatillon, the boss of the company Riwal, the former leader of the extreme right-wing Union Defence Group and close friend of Marine Le Pen and Jean-François Jalkh, vice president of FN, and two corporations: Riwal and the micro-party Jeanne.

    The allegations center on campaign materials, including posters and websites, supplied to over 500 candidates, allegedly, at inflated prices, so that costs could be reimbursed from the French state for huge profits.

    Family Feud 

    In April 2015, Le Pen reiterated his past comments that the Nazi gas chambers were a mere detail of history and his daughter — who took over as president of the National Front in 2011 — suspended him from the party. Many said she pounced on his comments to suspend him, so that he posed no threat to her bid for political power, having moved the party more mainstream.

    He denounced her and told her to marry so that she could no longer have the family name and said it would be "scandalous" if his daughter won in the 2017 French presidential elections after the way she treated him. 

    Le Pen senior challenged the suspension in the courts and won his case and re-instatement to the party. However, in August 2015 a special meeting of the party expelled him.

    The FN is also under investigation by the European Parliament for alleged fraud involving US$8.1 million over salaries paid to EU parliamentary assistants.


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