President Emmanuel Macron has called for a probe into allegations that the prosecutors have been forced to move quickly in a fraud investigation against François Fillon, former prime minister and his main rival on the right in France from the presidential race of 2017.
Fillon has lost what many considered a certain victory after a newspaper report claimed that he orchestrated a fake parliamentary assistant employment for his wife, who has seen her paid hundreds of thousands of euros (dollars) of public funds.
A decision will be made on 29 June, after a trial in which Fillon, has vigorously denied the allegations, saying that he was the victim of a political hit job.
The scandal flared again this week, after it emerged that the former head of France’s Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) has told legislators she supported the “pressure” and ” very rigorous “, which aims to bring charges soon against Fillon.
Fillon’s supporters seized on the comments as evidence that the prosecutor’s superiors, possibly, acting at the request of the ministry of justice, had violated the independence of the judiciary at the speed of his fall.
He was charged six weeks after the fraud claims emerged in le Canard Chained log, an unusually swift move in a country where the judicial investigations can take months or years.
The Paris summit, the chief prosecutor of the republic refused to exercise any undue pressure, and on Friday, the former attorney-financial, Eliane Houlette, I tried to walk back his statements, saying that she “regretted” that they had been ” distorted or poorly understood. “
But the tumult prompted Macron office of the-to say the end of Friday that the president had asked France judicial supervision, the Supreme Judicial Council, to investigate the allegations.
“These declarations, which have resulted in a significant outcry, have been interpreted as indicating that the pressure could have been placed on the judiciary, at a critical moment in our democratic process,” the Elysee Palace said in a statement.
“It is therefore essential to remove any doubt on the independence and impartiality of justice in this case,” he said.
Prosecutors have asked the court of Paris to give Fillon, 66 years, of five years of imprisonment, with three years suspended, as well as a three-year suspended prison sentence for his Welsh-born wife Penelope.
They accuse Fillon to pay his wife 613,000 euros (700,000 dollars) of public funds of more than 15 years for an employment dummy, saying, the couple produced no solid proof that she has ever done any significant work.