French prosecutor's probe of McKinsey widened to cover role in Macron's election campaigns

© Pierre René-Worms, France 24

France's financial prosecutor has opened a probe into suspected favouritism and alleged illegal financing of President Emmanuel Macron's 2017 campaign, in connection with contracts with McKinsey, Le Parisien newspaper said on Thursday.

The prosecutor's office confirmed it had widened an existing probe into alleged tax fraud by consultancy group McKinsey's to include the role of consultancy groups in the 2017 and 2022 election races.

It did not confirm the probe targeted Macron's campaign, but said it was publishing its statement in response to the newspaper reports.

Macron's office said it had taken note of the probe, adding that prosecutors now needed to carry out their work "in all independence".

McKinsey has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

If confirmed that the probe targets his campaign, it would be the closest a judicial investigation has come to Macron, who swept to power promising to clean up politics in France. While Le Parisien said the probe targeted Macron's campaign, it did not say it targeted Macron himself.

Presidents in France enjoy immunity while in office.

An investigation does not necessarily lead to a prosecution or imply guilt. It can take years before such probes are either shelved or go to trial.

The financial prosecutor said the extended investigation had been opened in response to a series of complaints from politicians and associations.

A judicial investigation was also opened on allegations of favouritism and concealment of favouritism.


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