PARIS – The EU's top court says Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of France's far-right National Front, and a party official must repay nearly 600,000 euros ($744,550) to the European Parliament for wages wrongly paid to alleged parliamentary assistants.
The European Court of Justice ruling on Wednesday echoed a decision of the European Parliament seeking to recover the money from Le Pen and ranking National Front member Bruno Gollnisch. The two lawmakers had sought to annul the parliament's decision.
Le Pen must return more than 320,000 euros spent by the parliament between 2009 and 2014 on a member of his staff hired as a local assistant. Gollnisch must pay back more than 275,985 euros.
They aren't alone: French prosecutors are investigating 20 cases of funds allegedly misspent by leftist and rightist European lawmakers.