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Fillon rejects new revelations on wife's alleged fake jobs

French presidential candidate François Fillon at a meeting in Provins on 5 April, 2017
French presidential candidate François Fillon at a meeting in Provins on 5 April, 2017 Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

French presidential candidate François Fillon responded angrily on Tuesday to a new report alleging that he put his wife on the public payroll in 1982, four years earlier than he claimed. 


"I won't say another word about these things," the conservative contender said on French television, condemning "successive revelations, carefully disseminated by state services."

The revelation comes as French voters prepare to cast their first ballots in the two-stage presidential race on 23 April.

Fillon, once the race's frontrunner and who denies any wrongdoing, was charged with abuse of public funds last month in a scandal that he has blamed on the outgoing Socialist government.

The 63-year-old is accused of giving fake jobs to his Welsh-born wife Penelope that earned her 680,000 euros in salary payments between 1986 and 2013.

Mediapart said late Monday that "Penelope Fillon in fact benefited from public funds from the first parliamentary mandate of her husband through contracts for studies or projects that he commissioned."

Fillon, first elected to represent the central Sarthe region in 1981, went on to become prime minister under president Nicolas Sarkozy from 2007 to 2012.

Other accusations of financial impropriety have piled up since the claims first broke in January, including that Fillon failed to declare an interest-free loan and that he accepted gifts of bespoke suits from a wealthy friend.

Fillon's lawyer Antonin Levy confirmed that investigators seized "contracts for studies" during a raid of the candidate's parliamentary offices in late January but said they were of "no interest" to the probe which he said reaches back only to 1997.

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