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Le Pen claims 'assassination attempt' after French judges block €2m funding from party

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Le Pen claims 'assassination attempt' after French judges block €2m funding from party

Le Pen claims 'assassination attempt' after French judges block €2m funding from party
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REUTERS
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The leader of the far-right National Rally (Rassemblement National) party has slammed French judges after they ordered that it could not receive €2 million in public funding.

Marine Le Pen said the move would kill the populist RN, which was previously known as the National Front.

"Two judges have decided, in violation of the presumption of innocence, without any court ruling, to assassinate France's leading opposition party," she said in a tweet on Monday.

Talking to news agency AFP, Le Pen said that without the funds the party "will be dead by the end of August".

The decision came as Le Pen and some RN members are being investigated over allegations that they misused European Parliament funds from 2009 until 2017.

Prosecutors say around €7 million meant for MEPs’ assistants in Brussels were used to pay staff in France, including Le Pen’s father, former politician Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Marine Le Pen and nine others have so far been charged in the ongoing investigation.

"We won't be able to pay our staff, our rent, our financial obligations from about July 15," Sebastien Chenu, a National Rally politician and spokesman said to Reuters of the judges’ order, which was reportedly made on June 28.

"They are planning our death," he added.

The blocked sum amounts to almost half of the €4.5 million the RN was supposed to receive from French state subsidies which are granted to political parties depending on how they perform in elections.

Last year, Le Pen was runner-up to Emmanuel Macron in the French presidential race but later secured a seat at the National Assembly in legislative elections, retaining her parliamentary immunity.