PARIS, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon and his wife would face trial over fake job allegations that made the Republican Party's contender lose his status as the favourite in the 2017 presidential election, state-run radio reported on Tuesday.
France info radio, citing a source close to the affair, said financial investigating judges had ordered to send Fillon and his spouse, Penelope Fillon, to trial on charges of misusing public funds, conspiracy and failing to fully disclose their financial situation to the High Authority for Transparency of Public Life.
Fillon's ex-deputy Marc Joulaud would also face trial over embezzlement of public funds, the report added.
The so called "PenelopeGate" emerged at the end of January 2017 when a local satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine reported that Fillon had paid his wife and two of his children about one million euros (1.125 million U.S. dollars) for their jobs as parliamentary assistants. However, there was no evidence indicating that they had really worked.
Once a favorite to win the contest to the Elysee Palace, the 65-year-old conservative was forced to quit the presidential race due to the alleged wrongdoings which he had repeatedly denied, denouncing "judicial bias" in investigation. (1 euro = 1.125 U.S. dollars)