French presidential candidate Fillon formally placed under investigation in fraud case

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The French conservative party’s presidential candidate, François Fillon, was on Tuesday formally placed under investigation for the suspected fraudulent payments made by him out of public funds to his wife and two of his children who he employed as parliamentary assistants. While the move was widely expected, it is a major new blow for the former prime minister who was the election frontrunner until the alleged fake jobs scandal emerged in January. Meanwhile, further press revelations since the weekend include the disclosure that his children paid him regular sums of money from their salaries as his assistant, and that a mysterious benefactor has gifted him over the past five years with luxury clothing worth more than 48,000 euros.

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François Fillon, the presidential election candidate for French conservative Les Républicains (LR) party, has been formally placed under investigation for alleged fraud offences by judges leading an enquiry into a suspected fake jobs scam that centres principally on the employment of his wife and two of his children as parliamentary assistants who were paid out of public funds.