French presidential candidate Francois Fillon, already weakened by fake job allegation, would be questioned over luxury clothing gifts which he said were offered by a friend, local newspaper reported on Thursday.
Magistrates investigating into Fillon public fund misuse would widen the investigation to include an “influence peddling” probing in relation with the conservative politician’ suits worth thousands of euros paid by a wealthy friend, Le Parisien daily said.
According to Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper, the ex-prime minister received gifts of suits and other clothing worth a total of 48,500 euros (52.224 U.S. dollars) since 2012 from a Paris tailor.
Under French laws, lawmakers have to declare all donations or gifts worth over 150 euros.
On Tuesday, Fillon, 63, was put under formal investigation into alleged public fund misuse. He has denied wrongdoing along with the allegations by a newspaper that his wife and two children have received hundreds thousands of euros for jobs they may did not do it.
An ifop daily survey on Thursday, showed the embattled candidate trailing at third place with 18 percent, 7.5 points behind centrist rival Emmanuel Macron who is predicted to make it through to the presidential election’s second round in May against Marine Le Pen, president of the far-right National Front party.
The poll showed the ex-economy minister comfortably winning the run-off with 61 percent versus Le Pen’s 39 percent. (1 euro = 1.08 U.S. dollars) Enditem