Francois Fillion, France’s centre right French presidential candidate has had fresh accusations of corruption levelled against him as anti – corruption police raided his office in parliament.
Last week an article in Le Canard Enchaine, a satirical weekly publication claimed Fillon’s wife claimed hundreds of thousands of euros working as an aid to her husband for fake jobs.
New allegations claim that she earned a lot more and earned it over a longer period of time.
Mr Fillon has rejected the claims just stating they were an attack on his candidacy and said it was an operation of professional slander. He stated that he and his wife and nothing to hide and that the new allegations did not change anything but gave a more impressive number.
He said, “Never in the history of the Fifth Republic has such an operation of very professional slander been launched in an attempt to eliminate a candidate.”
Poll Ratings Plummet
Despite his bluster poll ratings have fallen badly in light of the new allegations.
The newspaper reported on Tuesday that Penelope Fillon, his wife, was paid €830,000 for working as an aid over two periods. €330,000 more than was originally claimed. It also claims she was paid €100,000 for a literary review owned by Marc Ladreit de Lacharriere, a wealthy friend of Mr Fillon.
In addition, two of his children were paid €84,000 for working in assistant roles. Mr Fillon has said he employed them both for specific tasks.
Although it is legal for MPs and senators to employ family members, the publication said it can find no evidence that Mrs Fillon ever did any work.
The couple were interviewed for five hours separately on Monday and on Tuesday anti – corruption police raided parliamentary offices, reportedly looking for contracts in connection to Mrs Fillon’s work.
At this time it is unclear whether any formal charges will be made. Until the scandal broke Mr Fillon was doing well in the presidential race.