Judges call for Le Pen's EU Parliament immunity to be lifted

The immunity request is unlikely to be approved before voters got to the polls

Judges call for Le Pen's EU Parliament immunity to be lifted

Marine Le Pen. Picture by: Jean-Francois Badias/AP/Press Association Images

French judges investigating Marine Le Pen’s alleged misuse of EU funds to pay for party assistants, are calling for her European parliamentary immunity to be lifted.
 
It comes just days before the far-right leader faces the much anticipated first round of the French presidential election.

The immunity request is unlikely to be approved by European lawmakers before the polls are open.

French judges want to inform Le Pen that she is formally placed under investigation, but they can only do so in her presence.

Ms Le Pen’s lawyer said on Friday she would present herself for questioning after France’s legislative elections in June, "depending on the results of the presidential election."

Le Pen's response 

Le Pen told French media that the judges calls for her immunity to be lifted will be a matter for debate at the European parliament’s legal committee.

Ms Le Pen shrugged off the latest developments saying "This is normal. It’s the classic procedure. I am not surprised," she said speaking to France Info radio.

Last month, her immunity was lifted in a separate case, over the tweeting of pictures of ISIL violence.

If her immunity was lifted and she continued to refuse to respond to the requests, Ms Le Pen could be arrested and presented to judges by force. 

The EU’s anti-fraud agency Olaf asked Ms Le Pen and five other National Front members to repay salaries of people it considered to be bogus assistants.

Since Ms Le Pen refused to reimburse €298,400 in February, her monthly MEP’s salary has been docked.