French Prosecutors Said to Urge Probe of Fillon's Free SuitsBy
Presidential candidate already charged with misuse of funds
Fillon has said probe is orchestrated by political opponents
French prosecutors are recommending an investigation into media reports that presidential candidate Francois Fillon received tailor-made suits as gifts, a person familiar with the matter said.
Prosecutors asked the judges leading a probe into whether Fillon misused public funds to include allegations of influence peddling related to gifts of clothing, the person said, declining to be identified because the matter is confidential. Le Journal du Dimanche reported Saturday that Fillon received suits as gifts worth 48,500 euros ($52,195) since 2012 that were paid for by an unknown benefactor.
Fillon, 63, a former prime minister, was charged Tuesday with misuse of public funds as judges weigh whether family members did any real work while on the public payroll as parliamentary aides.
Fillon has denounced the investigation as a plot orchestrated by his political opponents. He has promised to stay in the presidential race and fended off a rebellion within his own party.
Calls seeking comment at Fillon’s campaign team were not immediately returned. Le Parisien reported news of the prosecutor’s request to expand the probe earlier Thursday.
— With assistance by Helene Fouquet, Gregory Viscusi, and Gaspard Sebag