The European Union’s second highest court on June 19 upheld a decision by the European Parliament to recover €300,000 from far-right politician and former French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.
The General Court of the European Union rejected a bid by Le Pen to overturn a ruling that she had wrongly used parliamentary funds to pay an aide who was based at her party’s headquarters in Paris.
The Luxembourg-based court said in a statement that it “confirms the decision of the European Parliament to recover from Marine Le Pen MEP almost €300,000 for the employment of a parliamentary assistant, on the ground that she did not prove the effectiveness of that assistant’s work”.
As reported by France 24, the court said that Le Pen, the leader of France’s National Rally party (known until a recent name change as the National Front) provided no evidence “of any activity whatsoever on the part of the parliamentary assistant that comes under parliamentary assistance, which she moreover acknowledged during the hearing”.
Le Pen swiftly announced her intention to take the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union, the bloc’s highest court.
“This ruling is based not on the substance of the case but on a procedural aspect. We are going to appeal against this decision,” she told the Agence France-Presse (AFP).