The European Parliament began a procedure that could lead to the lifting of France’s far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen’s immunity for alleged misuse of European Union funds, the president of the legislature said on Wednesday.

French judges have asked European lawmakers to lift her immunity from prosecution as a member of the EU legislature to allow further investigation into allegations she misused funds to pay for National Front party assistants.

The request “has been forwarded to the legal affairs committee of the European parliament, which is in charge of these issues”, Antonio Tajani told lawmakers at the beginning of a formal sitting of the legislature in Brussels.

This step marks the formal beginning of the procedure.

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