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FRANCE

Front National's Le Pen faces French election expenses fraud interrogation

Front National Marine leader Le Pen in the European parliament last month
Front National Marine leader Le Pen in the European parliament last month Reuters/Vincent Kessler

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen was questioned by investigators into charges that her Front National (FN) swindled the state out of millions of euros during election campaigns in 2012. The party and several of its member have already been charged but Le Pen was summoned as an "assisted witness", meaning that she could be charged at a later stage.

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The fraud case involves the FN and Riwal, a company run by some of its members.

They are suspected of inflating costs so as to claim unjustifiably large sums in the state subsidies given to parties' election campaign expenses.

Le Pen was questioned all morning on Tuesday, according to sources.

She refused to turn up to two earlier interviews last Autumn.

The investigation started in 2014 and the FN claims it is politically motivated.

Separate investigations are looking into charges that Marine Le Pen and her father Jean-Marie, who founded the party, underestimated the extent of their personal wealth in compulsory declarations for elected representatives in 2014.

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