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French Judges Seek Legal Action Against Le Pen One Week Before Election

REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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French judges have asked the European Parliament to lift presidential candidate Marine Le Pen’s immunity in an investigation of her alleged misuse of European Union funds.

Le Pen is accused of using her parliamentary aides for party activities at the expense of the EU. The Paris prosecutor’s office said Friday that a request was filed March 29 to lift Le Pen’s immunity as a member of the European Parliament so she can face possible prosecution in France. The request is unlikely to be approved before the French election on April 23.

The populist National Front leader didn’t seem too concerned with the timing of the request, saying it’s “normal procedure.”

“It’s totally normal procedure, I’m not surprised,” Le Pen told France Info radio.

Rodolphe Bosselut, Le Pen’s attorney, said in February that she won’t comply with any summons until after the election. Le Pen denies any wrongdoing and says she’s part of “political dirty tricks.” (RELATED: Le Pen Refuses To Speak With Police Over Illegal Payments)

European lawmakers lifted Le Pen’s immunity in a separate case in March concerning social media posts of Islamic State violence.

Le Pen is expected to finish first or second in the first round of voting and make it to a runoff election in May.

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