MoDem President Francois Bayrou arrived Friday at the Paris court to be heard in the case of assistants of MEPs from the centrist party, which could claim him an indictment, found journalists AFP.
Mr. Bayrou, 68, arrived shortly before 09:30 in court, accompanied by his lawyer, and went to the office of Judge Charlotte Bilger, in charge of this investigation in which a dozen people were indicted these last weeks.
The judges are trying to determine whether employees, who also worked part-time for the MoDem, actually performed the tasks for which they were paid by the European Parliament funds or if this montage was used to fraudulently fund the party's payroll.
Since November 15, several other figures of the MoDem, including former Deputy and current Deputy Governor of the Bank of France Sylvie Goulard, the former Minister of Justice Michel Mercier or the financial director of the party Alexander Nardella, have already have been indicted in this case.
The vice-president of MoDem Marielle de Sarnez, for its part was indicted Wednesday for "embezzlement of public funds" for the contract of a former assistant.
For five other suspect contracts, the judge did not finally indictment at this stage and placed Ms. de Sarnez under the status of assisted witness for these facts.
The opening of a preliminary investigation by the Paris prosecutor's office in June 2017 led to the resignation of Bayrou from the post of Minister of Justice, as well as those of Marielle de Sarnez from the post of Minister of European Affairs and of 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 one of her former assistants, Karine Aouadj, who claims to have never really performed tasks related to the European Parliament and have rather been his personal assistant.
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 the insubordinate France (LFI) and for the National Front (FN). In the latter, about twenty people, including Marine Le Pen, have been indicted.
© 2019 AFP