France's charismatic far-left leader Melenchon embroiled in EU fraud scandal
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An investigation into alleged misuse of European parliamentary funds by members of a number of French political parties has been extended to include far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon, a judicial source said on Tuesday.
The preliminary investigation - already targeting members of France's centrist MoDem party, conservative party The Republicans and the Socialist Party - was opened after a member of Marine Le Pen's far-right National Front asked the Paris prosecutor to look into the issue.
Le Pen is herself under formal investigation for breach of trust in a separate case on the same subject.
Being a target of a preliminary investigation or a formal investigation in France does not necessarily lead to a trial.
Melenchon, now a member of the French parliament, leader of the France Unbowed party and a vocal opponent of the government of centrist Emmanuel Macron, denied any misconduct in a weekly briefing on Tuesday afternoon.
Political probity became a major issue during this year's presidential campaign in which Le Pen and Melenchon were both high-scoring candidates, eventually losing to centrist Emmanuel Macron.