Marine Le Pen's bodyguard (pictured right) and chief of staff were arrested
The presidential candidate’s chief of staff Catherine Griset was arrested this morning alongside Marine Le Pen’s bodyguard Thierry Legier.
A judicial source said the arrests are part of a probe into alleged misuse of EU funds to pay parliamentary assistants.
Ms Grist has been formally charged with abuse of trust following a day in police custody and faces trial for an offence that comes with a maximum prison sentence of three years.
Ms Grist has been formally charged with abuse of trust following a day in police custody and faces trial
Mr Legier was released without charge this evening, but sources close to the case say it is likely he will be interviewed again at a later date.
The European Anti-Fraud Office says it has compelling evidence that Ms Le Pen, who is an MEP, made both Ms Gristet and Mr Legier her fake 'parliamentary assistants'.
The whole scam was worth as much as £300,000 to the Front National (FN), prosecutors claim.
Chief of staff Catherine Griset (second right) and bodyguard Thierry Legier (third left)
Ms Le Pen, the leader of the FN, said the arrests are part of a “political dirty tricks” campaign involving a corrupt judiciary and media.
She branded the enquiry “empty” and said she and her colleagues were entirely innocent.
Mr Legier is regularly seen accompanying Ms Le Pen to events, and in the past has protected Hollywood celebrities ranging from Charles Bronson and Mel Brooks to Sean Penn.
Mr Legier is regularly seen accompanying Ms Le Pen to events
Marine Le Pen said the arrests are part of a “political dirty tricks” campaign
Paris prosecutors have opened a judicial investigation for a variety of corruption charges including breach of trust and organised fraud – all of which carry prison sentences of up to 10 years.
The scandal comes as Francois Fillon, the right-wing Republicans party candidate for the presidency, also faces charges for a fake jobs scandal involving his British-born wife, Penelope, and their two children.
Independent candidate Emmanuel Macron is currently the favourite to win France's presidential elections in May.
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