Welsh wife if Elysee hopeful Francois Fillon handed 'fraud' charges

Welsh wife if Elysee hopeful Francois Fillon handed 'fraud' charges

The British wife of French presidential candidate Francois Fillon is facing preliminary charges over well-paid parliamentary jobs that investigators suspect she never performed.

Penelope Fillon, who originally comes from Abergavenny in Wales, was charged with "misuse of public funds", "receiving money from a misuse of company assets" and "receiving money from a fraud", judicial sources said.

Mr Fillon himself had already been charged in the case, which has deeply damaged the conservative candidate's chances for the two-round election on April 23 and May 7.

He is suspected of embezzlement and other charges.

The Fillons have denied wrongdoing.

Mr Fillon, once the front-runner in the race for the keys to the Elysee Palace, calls the investigation a smear campaign to torpedo his presidential campaign.

Polls now suggest centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron and the far right's Marine Le Pen will contest the decisive second round in May after the field of 11 candidates is whittled down to two in the first round.

AP

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