Paris (AFP)

The deputy chairman of MoDem Marielle de Sarnez was questioned on Wednesday for an indictment by judges investigating the allegedly fictitious jobs of assistants of MEPs, it was learned from concordant sources.

Ms. de Sarnez arrived around 11:00 am at the Paris court, found AFP journalists.

It was convened by magistrates of the financial center of the court for an indictment, according to sources close to the case.

Since November 15, several people, including the former Deputy and current Deputy Governor of the Bank of France Sylvie Goulard, the former Minister of Justice Michel Mercier and the financial director of the centrist party Alexandre Nardella, have been indicted in this file.

MoDem chairman François Bayrou is summoned Friday.

The judges are trying to determine whether parliamentary associates were paid by European Parliament funds when they were actually assigned to other tasks for the centrist party.

The opening of a preliminary investigation by the Paris prosecutor's office in June 2017 led to the resignation of Mr Bayrou from the post of Minister of Justice, as well as those of Marielle de Sarnez from the post of Minister for European Affairs and Sylvie Goulard as Minister of the Armed Forces.

Marielle de Sarnez, who was elected to the European Parliament from 1999 to 2017, was questioned by several protagonists of the case, including a former assistant, Karine Aouadj, who claims to have never really performed tasks related to the European Parliament and to have rather been his personal assistant.

In front of the investigators of the Central Office of fight against corruption and financial and fiscal offenses (Oclciff) in Nanterre on September 11 and 12, the politician called these statements "fabulous".

She also stressed that within the MoDem its function was "purely political".

"I was not in charge of the functioning of the party, I did not have an administrative function within the party or any responsibility for a particular field of the party," she said.

The MoDem is not the only political formation in the lens of justice for supposedly fictitious jobs in the European Parliament. Similar investigations have thus been opened for France Insoumise (LFI) and for the National Front (FN). In the latter, about twenty people, including Marine Le Pen, have been indicted.

© 2019 AFP