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Le Pen Aides Taken Into French Police Custody

Le Pen Aides Taken Into French Police CustodyLe Pen Aides Taken Into French Police Custody

French police detained far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen’s bodyguard and chief of staff in custody on Wednesday for questioning over alleged misuse of European Union funds to pay parliamentary assistants, Le Pen’s lawyer said.

Le Pen denounced the latest move in a financial sleaze case that has landed her in the spotlight alongside another leading candidate, Francois Fillon, a right-winger being investigated over public funds he paid to his wife and children, Reuters reported.

Wary that her image and lead position in polls of voting intentions could be hurt, Le Pen on Wednesday said she was convinced voters would not fall for what her lawyer Marcel Ceccaldi called a “manipulation” designed to destabilize her.

“The French can tell the difference between genuine scandals and political dirty tricks,” Le Pen, who has previously denied any wrongdoing in the affair, told reporters.

Le Pen is consistently tipped in opinion polls to win the April 23 first round of the two-round race but she is also tipped to lose the two-way runoff ballot on May 7—to either Fillon or another independent candidate, the centrist Emmanuel Macron.

 

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