French far-right leader appeals scam ban

26th January 2004, Comments 0 comments

MARSEILLE, France, Jan 26 (AFP) - A court in southern France on Monday found Bruno Megret, the head of the far-right National Republican Movement (MNR), guilty of illegal party financing and barred him from public office for a year.

MARSEILLE, France, Jan 26 (AFP) - A court in southern France on Monday found Bruno Megret, the head of the far-right National Republican Movement (MNR), guilty of illegal party financing and barred him from public office for a year.

Megret was also handed a one-year suspended prison sentence, but he has vowed to appeal his conviction, which will allow him to remain on the ballot for key March regional elections.

He will top his party's list in the southeastern Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region, where the extreme right is well ensconced.

In the last regional elections in 1998, Jean-Marie Le Pen's far-right National Front (FN) finished in second place, earning 26.52 percent of the vote, behind left-wing parties, which garnered 31.89 percent of the vote.

Megret, who like his party is facing massive debt, was convicted of irregularities in his party's funding for electoral campaigns, and thus may have difficulty financing his current bid for office.

The Marseille criminal court fined Megret EUR 10,000 (USD 12,500) in connection with the case, and his party was ordered to pay EUR 30,000 (USD 37,650).

© AFP

                                Subject: France news

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