The investigating judges had been considering since November 2018 the use of public funds by the team of candidate LFI for the 2017 campaign.
The Paris Court of Appeal validated this Thursday, September 15 the indictments in the investigation into the campaign accounts of Jean-Luc Mélenchon during the 2017 presidential election, AFP learned this Monday, September 19 from a judicial source. .
The Era of the People association, founded in 2015 by relatives of the leader of France Insoumise, the candidate’s financial agent, Marie-Pierre Oprandi, and the deputy Bastien Lachaud, had filed requests for the annulment of the proceedings against them, which were examined on June 16 by the investigating chamber of the court of appeal. According to the judicial source, “the investigating chamber said that there was no reason for any of the cancellations requested“. Asked by AFP, the lawyers for the defendants did not wish to comment.
In this case, the investigating judges have been looking since November 2018 at the use of public funds by the team of the candidate LFI for the 2017 campaign. The Era of the People had invoiced the candidate 440,027 euros for room rentals or computer equipment and the intellectual services of its four employees, including the deputies Bastien Lachaud and Mathilde Panot.
The National Commission for Campaign Accounts (CNCCFP) had noted a difference of 152,688 euros between the salaries paid to deputies and the amounts invoiced for their services to the agent. According Mediapartthis allowed the association to generate a margin of 66% and 59% for the two deputies.
Illegal lending of labor
Responsible for validating the reimbursement of the expenses of the candidates with public money, the commission had refused to reimburse this margin made by the Era of the people and had reported the facts to justice. In the spring of 2021, the Era of the People was indicted for illicit loan of labor, aggravated prosecutions a year later when the judges also indicted it for aggravated fraud, breach of trust and financing campaign illegal.
The financial agent of the LFI candidate, Marie-Pierre Oprandi, was indicted in April 2021 for illicit loan of labor and use of forgery, then in September 2021, the LFI deputy Bastien Lachaud, who was then an employee as treasurer of the association, was in turn prosecuted, mainly for illicit loan of labour, forgery, fraud and attempted fraud.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon disputes any violation in this investigation and in a second judicial investigation, still in progress, concerning the employment of LFI’s parliamentary assistants in the European Parliament.
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