Investigation into event linked to French candidate Macron

  • Investigation into event linked to French candidate Macron

Investigation into event linked to French candidate Macron

The former prime minister had been due to meet investigators on Wednesday but, in a surprise move, the meeting was brought forward by 24 hours - apparently to spare Fillon the full glare of the media.

Since 2012, Mr Fillon has received clothing worth almost $73,300 furnished by jet-set French tailor Arnys, the weekly Journal du Dimanche said in a report.

That uncertainty only deepened for the scandal-plagued politician Tuesday, as French authorities officially announced they are investigating Fillon on allegations he illegally diverted public money.

It comes as the right-wing candidate, once a favourite to win the French presidency, has seen his poll ratings plunge following a financial scandal in which he was accused of paying his wife and two of his children large sums of money for work they did not carry out. "There's no point in talking about authority when one's not beyond reproach", he said during his campaign for the conservative nomination, according to the AP.

Fillon's wife Penelope was paid some 830,000 euros ($900,000) over 15 years while employed as his and his replacement's assistant in Parliament.

A new poll on Tuesday showed Fillon had closed the gap on liberal Emmanuel Macron but still wouldn't make the second round run-off vote which would be between Macron and Le Pen.

Marie Fillon told a hearing last month that she transferred up to 70 percent of her net salary into her parents' joint bank account, which she claimed was to repay them for her 2006 wedding. Francois Fillon's lawyer told Le Parisien there was nothing unusual about the transfer.

The Republicains party candidate was hit by fresh scandals over the weekend, when it was revealed that he accepted two suits from a friend worth €13,000. The charges came a day before he was scheduled to be questioned in a probe into whether family members did real work while paid as parliamentary aides.

The payments appear to jar with a campaign in which Fillon, who customarily sports clean-cut, dark suits and striped shirts, has pitched himself as ethically irreproachable.

"The political battle is tough enough, but it must remain dignified", Fillon said Sunday.