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French far-right leader Marine Le Pen is investigated over alleged illicit financing in 2022 vote

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PARIS (AP) — The Paris prosecutor’s office said Tuesday it opened a preliminary investigation last week into suspicions of illicit financing of far-right French leader Marine Le Pen’s campaign during the 2022 presidential election.

The office told The Associated Press that the judicial probe opened July 2 into allegations of accepting a financial loan, misappropriation of property, fraud and forgery. It did not give details.

Le Pen hasn’t commented.

The preliminary investigation was opened after a report from the National Commission for Campaign Accounts and Political Financing dating from 2023. The body is responsible for monitoring candidates’ expenses. In French elections, candidates are barred from exceeding a certain spending limit.

French media reports said Le Pen is not the only candidate in the 2022 presidential election being investigated.

Her far-right National Rally party previously was singled out for exaggerating expenses on campaign items used by candidates in the 2012 legislative elections. The Court of Cassation rejected the party’s appeal, and it was fined.