David Rachline, a close colleague of Marine Le Pen, acknowledged yesterday (Wednesday) that he was once paid for three months by the Nord-Pas-de-Calais regional council. However, he asserted that the investigation around suspicions of non-existent jobs within the Front National (FN) resorts from political manoeuvres.
Le Canard Enchaîné publication reveals that the Lille Public Prosecutor’s Office has opened a preliminary investigation around the alleged frauds which occurred, in particular, as part of the preparation for the 2012 presidential elections. These involved funds which would normally be allocated to the work of regional politicians for campaigning and related activities.
The Lille Public Prosecutor has told Reuters news agency that investigators started working on this in January 2016, following an anonymous tip off letter revolving around three potentially non-existent jobs.
Le Canard Enchaîné, reports that one of the suspicious positions was held by Mr Rachline. This was apparently when he sat on the Fréjus (South) municipal council and the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur (PACA) regional council, both on the other side of France from the Nord-Pas-de-Calais.
The current campaign manager for Marine Le Pen responded on the LCP channel (the French parliament channel) “This lasted for three months…the contract in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, and anyway it was seven years ago.” He gave no further details as to the nature of the work under the contract at the time.
He went on, “Now a lot of noise is being made made about this matter a fortnight in front of the first round of the presidential elections.” He went further saying, “Had they wanted to wire tap the leading candidate’s campaign manager, then that is exactly what they would have done.”
The FN is suspected, in a separate investigation being dealt with in Paris, of having implemented a similar system of fraud in the European Parliament, which may have involved paying FN party employees using public money.