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Marine Le Pen: Police Interview Over Funds Refused by French Candidate

Image: Marine Le Pen: Police Interview Over Funds Refused by French Candidate

Marine Le Pen, French National Front political party leader and candidate for the French 2017 presidential election, attends a meeting focused on civil works in Paris, France, Feb. 23, 2017. (Christian Hartmann/Reuters)

By    |   Friday, 24 Feb 2017 02:02 PM

Marine Le Pen, a far-right presidential candidate in France, refused to be interviewed by police Friday amid a probe into whether or not she violated rules pertaining to the use of European Parliament funds by using the money to pay a member of her staff.

"I will not respond (to the summons) during the election campaign," said Le Pen, a frontrunner in the race. "During this period, there cannot be the neutrality or calm necessary for the justice system to function properly."

Le Pen was given money for work that was supposed to be done in Brussels or Strasbourg, according to BBC News. However, she is accused of paying her cabinet director, Catherine Griset, more than $320,000 from that pool of funds.

Le Pen was told she had until the end of January to repay the money, but she refused to comply, claiming to be a target of a “politically-motivated vendetta,” BBC News said.

Although Le Pen is technically allowed to refuse police questioning into this probe based on her parliamentary immunity, that could change if judges seek to lift her immunity, according to The Telegraph. Lawyers say it could take judges several months to lift Le Pen’s immunity if they were to pursue that option.

Following Le Pen’s refusal of the police interview, Socialist Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve argued a presidential candidate cannot "place themselves above the laws of the French Republic," The Telegraph reported.

Despite those remarks, Le Pen defended her position, saying, "I am not obstructing justice, I’m obstructing injustice."

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Marine Le Pen, a far-right presidential candidate in France, refused to be interviewed by police Friday amid a probe into whether or not she violated rules pertaining to the use of European Parliament funds by using the money to pay a member of her staff.
marine le pen, police, interview, refuse
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2017-02-24
Friday, 24 Feb 2017 02:02 PM
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