Francois Fillon Calls for Inquiry to be Dropped in ‘Fake Jobs’ Scandal
Former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has called for the financial prosecutor’s inquiry to be dropped against him in the ‘fake job’ scandal in which he has been accused of making payments to his wife and children. Fillon’s lawyers have asked for inquiry to be dropped and have termed it as illegal. The lawyers have also questioned impartiality of investigators. Fillon has been accused of making nearly one million euros in payment to his family from public funds.
Fillon’s popularity has dropped after the scandal surfaced. Fillon denied the charges and has repeatedly said that he hasn’t done anything wrong. However, he hasn’t been able to give a concrete evidence of work done by his wife and children who were paid from public funds. His statements regarding the jobs done by his family members have not been able to silence the questions asked by his opponents and media.
The scandal has results in Fillon falling to third rank among French voter’s choice in upcoming elections. His campaign was talking about transparency but he is now involved in fake jobs scandal and hasn’t been able to provide a reasonable response. A recent survey has suggested that 7 out of 10 French voters believe that Fillon should drop from Presidential race.
Fillon has said that he will continue with his presidential campaign. He has termed this issue as a conspiracy against him to make him drop from presidential race.
As per media reports, “Both Fillon and his British-born wife have been questioned by fraud police as part of the inquiry. Two of the couple’s children, Marie and Charles, who are in their 30s and also did some work for their father, were due to be questioned on Thursday.”
His opponents have not directly commented on the issue but their popularity has been rising. Far right party National Front has benefitted the most from this scandal with Marine Le Pen coming up as frontrunner in Presidential elections.
“The financial prosecutor has no jurisdiction and its inquiry is therefore illegal. This investigation violates the most basic principles of the French constitution,” Antonin Levy, one of the lawyers, said during a press conference.
French politicians have hired their close relatives in the past as well. However, this issue is different as there isn’t any proof of Fillon’s family members performing any job for which they were paid.
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