The candidate for the Republician’s in the French presidential election is accused of embezzling thousand of euros of public funds when he was a senator.
The French news website Mediapart published on February 4 reproductions of some checks, made payable to “Fillon”, amounting to more than 3,000 euros each.
According to the website, this is evidence of a “vast system of embezzlement” to which François Fillon would have participated between 2005 and 2007, when he was a senator of the Sarthe. The site states that the total amount of this supposed practice would “probably have not exceeded 25,000 euros”.
— Edwy Plenel (@edwyplenel) February 4, 2017
The money was supposed to be used for senators to remunerate their assistants. Though it is legal for elected officials to transfer this money to their political group when it has not been spent, Mediapart accuses Fillon, and several members of the UMP (since then who have become Républicains), to have taken advantage of the system to enrich themselves personally.
An investigation was opened in November 2013, leading to the indictment of several former senators.
Contacted by AFP, François Fillon’s entourage said he did not wish to comment on “a legal case in progress”.
Faced with accusations that have harded him for several days in the press, notably with the Penelope affair, the presidential candidate denounced it as an “institutional coup” coming “from the left”.