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French inquiry widens into Fillon’s wife's ‘fake job’ claims

Former French Prime minister and right-wing candidate for the upcoming presidential election Francois Fillon speaks during the opening ceremony of the archives of late French political figure Philippe Seguin
Former French Prime minister and right-wing candidate for the upcoming presidential election Francois Fillon speaks during the opening ceremony of the archives of late French political figure Philippe Seguin Thomas SAMSON / AFP

French investigators have searched the offices of a magazine as part of a widening inquiry into whether presidential candidate Francois Fillon's wife was paid for allegedly fictitious jobs, according to French news agency AFP Saturday.

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The raid late Thursday at La Revue des Deux Mondes follows the launch of the investigation into Penelope Fillon's role at the literary monthly, owned by a billionaire friend of her husband, as well as in the French parliament, where she was paid 500,000 euros ($534,000) as his aide.

The satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine, which broke the story, said the Welsh-born Penelope Fillon had done nothing to earn her salary at the legislature, since it had been unable to find anyone who remembered her working there.

The newspaper also alleged that in 2012 and 2013, Penelope Fillon was paid 5,000 euros a month at La Revue des Deux Mondes, owned by Marc Ladreit de Lacharriere, 76.

Francois Fillon, the rightwing presidential candidate, has seen a drop in popularity ratings following the revelations.

La Revue des Deux Mondes ("The Review of the Two Worlds") traces its roots to the French literary scene of the early 19th century. Contributors have included giants such as George Sand, Alexandre Dumas and Alphonse de Musset. The magazine today is focussed on politics and literary and, coincidentally, devoted its front page this month to Fillon.

 

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