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Jul 18, 2:11 PM EDT

French left-wing leader probed over assistant jobs

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AP Photo/Claude Paris

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PARIS (AP) -- Paris' prosecutor's office says that France's leading left-wing politician - a vocal opponent of President Emmanuel Macron - is embroiled in an ongoing corruption investigation over alleged fictional parliamentary assistant jobs in the European Parliament.

Agnes Thibault Lecuivre said Tuesday that Jean-Luc Melenchon, a former European Parliament member, is now being also investigated as part of the inquiry that's targeting 19 others and their former parliamentary assistants.

The inquiry is trying to establish whether parliamentary assistants working for French political parties were illegally paid with European Parliament money.

Melenchon, leader of the France Unbowed party, denied any wrongdoing in a briefing on Tuesday.

Former presidential candidate Marine Le Pen of the National Front was handed preliminary charges in June over a similar inquiry. She denies all charges.

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