Thierry Legier and Catherine Griset were taken into police custody today in Nanterre, one of the Parisian suburbs. Thierry Legier, who is Le Pen’s bodyguard, and Catherine Griset, her chief of staff, were arrested under the charges of being paid for fake jobs at the EU Parliament.
Marine Le Pen herself is facing the charges of making Legier her fake ‘parliamentary assistant’ on a salary of €6000 plus a month. She and her aides are now facing criminal charges that could result in lengthy prison sentences.
The European Anti-Fraud Office says it has ‘compelling evidence’ against Le Pen and her aides, but her lawyers called the arrests a media and judicial ‘conspiracy’ aimed at derailing Le Pen’s presidential campaign.
While on visit to a prison in Meaux, east of Paris, Le Pen said that the enquiry was an ’empty one’ and claimed she and her colleagues were entirely innocent.
Thierry Legier is regularly seen accompanying Le Pen to events, and also served as her father’s bodyguard for decades. However, Legier has not been employed in any EU institution and should not have received payment from European taxpayers.
Le Pen also stands accused of producing a false-employment contract on behalf of Ms Griset, a long-time friend.
The President of European Parliament has estimated the total loss of taxpayer money at more than €200,000.
Recent corruption charges against Le Pen and her aides could undermine her presidential campaign, as one of her opponents, the conservative Francois Fillon, has also faced similar charges and has been trailing in the polls ever since.
Source/Image: Daily Mail