Author: Saim Saeed
French presidential candidate François Fillon’s wife has been charged for her role in the fake jobs scandal that has threatened to derail the conservative’s campaign, Reuters reported late Tuesday.
Penelope Fillon will face charges of concealment of public funds and abuse of social property, according to the report. The conservative candidate himself was formally charged earlier this month after Le Canard Enchaîné revealed in January he had hired his wife and children as parliamentary assistants for work they may not have done.
Fillon has maintained her innocence, saying she has “confidence in the justice system.” Le Canard estimated she received €930,000 in public funds.
Fillon hired his wife from 1988 to 1990, and again from 1998 to 2002. After Fillon became prime minister in 2002, his replacement in parliament Marc Joulaud kept Penelope on the payroll. Joulaud announced last week he was being charged in the same scandal.
Since Penelopegate began in January, Fillon’s popularity has flagged and he is expected to finish third in the first round of the French elections on April 23, behind centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. The top two candidates will progress to the runoff vote.