The leader of the French extreme right, Marine Le Penwill have to sit on the bench in 2024 along with 26 people linked to his party for embezzlement of public fundswhen it was suspected that the National Group (RN) made a improper use of assistants paid by the European Parliament.
The Paris Prosecutor’s Office indicated that there will be a first hearing on March 27 for the organization of the trial, which will be held in the fall, between September 30 and November 27, 2024.
Among those prosecuted for illegal work by parliamentary assistants of the European Parliament between 2014 and 2016 is also Jean-Marie Le Penfather of the far-right leader and founder of the party (National Front, at its creation), as well as eleven other MEPs in that period, such as Louis Aliot (current mayor of Perpignan) and the RN himself.
They are accused of misappropriating public funds by using assistants paid with funds from the European Parliament for work in the party and being complicit in that crime.
If found guilty, They could receive a sentence of up to ten years in prison and a fine of one million eurosin addition to being disabled to hold public office for five years.
The latter could prevent a new candidacy for the presidency of France in the 2027 elections for Le Pen, who is now a favorite in the polls. In the two previous elections, in 2017 and 2022, the visible head of the French far-right finished in second position, defeated in both cases by Emmanuel Macronwhich cannot be presented again for the third consecutive time.
The investigation in this summary began in 2015 when the European Parliament asked the community anti-fraud body to analyze whether, as it suspected, the RN had committed irregularities with the salaries of his parliamentary assistants.
The European Parliament, which constituted itself as a private prosecutor, had evaluated in 2018 the damage suffered by the alleged infringements in 6.8 million euros in the period between 2009 and 2017.
Marine Le Pen has repeatedly denied her guilt in this matter and today His party insisted that its leader “has not committed any infraction or irregularity” and that the process will allow him to defend himself on the merits and “assert his common sense arguments.”