The lawyer for the former Prime Minister denounces a “relentlessness”.
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The former right and center candidate for the 2017 presidential election François Fillon is the target of a preliminary investigation for suspicion of embezzlement of public funds concerning one of his parliamentary collaborators, franceinfo learned on Friday (September 3) from his lawyer Antonin Levy, confirming information from RTL. The lawyer denounces a “relentlessness” and an “judicial strategy” before the appeal trial in the Pénélope Fillon case.
The National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) opened a preliminary investigation in 2017 concerning the employment of Maël Renouard, who received 38,000 euros gross paid by the National Assembly between November 2013 and September 2015. The writer had for sole mission to help the candidate to write his book Make, published in September 2015, by rereading its texts, explains the lawyer. The question at the heart of this survey is whether or not a parliamentary collaborator can contribute to the writing of a book.
François Fillon was auditioned at the beginning of the year in this new case, Maël Renouard had already been before. “During his hearing, François Fillon demonstrated that he had written the book which contains his ideas and his vision of France”, says his lawyer, who believes that “It is no coincidence that this information comes out just before the appeal trial, it is a relentlessness, a legal strategy to discredit”.
This investigation is distinct from that which concerned the employment of Pénélope Fillon as parliamentary attaché. In this case, François Fillon must be tried in second instance in November, for suspicion of fictitious jobs. He appealed after being sentenced at first instance last June to five years’ imprisonment, two of which was firm, a fine of 375,000 euros and ten years of ineligibility.