Europe

French prosecutors maintain probe into candidate Fillon

French conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon gestures as he speaks during a campaign meeting in Compiegne, north of Paris, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Conservative French presidential candidate Francois Fillon wants to prosecute 16 and 17-year-olds as adults, arguing it would prevent the kind of unrest that has rocked the low-income suburbs of Paris following an alleged police rape. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

French conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon gestures as he speaks during a campaign meeting in Compiegne, north of Paris, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Conservative French presidential candidate Francois Fillon wants to prosecute 16 and 17-year-olds as adults, arguing it would prevent the kind of unrest that has rocked the low-income suburbs of Paris following an alleged police rape. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)  (The Associated Press)

French financial prosecutors have decided to continue their investigation into embezzlement allegations against conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon.

Fillon's spokesman, Damien Abad, said on BFM television that the candidate will maintain his campaign pending further investigation. Fillon has denied wrongdoing.

The national financial prosecutor's office opened a preliminary investigation into embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds after newspaper Le Canard Enchaine reported that Fillon's wife and two of his children earned as much as 1 million euros ($1.1 million) for fake parliamentary jobs.

The prosecutor's office said Thursday it received the initial police report into the case and will continue investigating. That suggests prosecutors have enough reason to suspect wrongdoing not to drop the case.

Polls considered Fillon the front-runner for the April 23-May 7 election before the scandal erupted.