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France’s financial prosecutor on Thursday vowed to push on with its investigation into a fake jobs scandal surrounding presidential hopeful Francois Fillon, dashing the centre-right party’s hopes the case would be quickly dropped.

The prosecutor, which is investigating allegations that Mr Fillon paid his wife and children for work they may not have done, said that a preliminary report contains “numerous elements” which means they cannot abandon the inquiry.

This is not the worst outcome for Mr Fillon, who has seen his approval ratings slide since the allegations first emerged nearly a month ago. The prosecutor could have appointed an investigating magistrate or sent it straight to trial.

But it means that, just three months until the election, the legal cloud will continue to hang over the former presidential favourite. And prosecutors still have the option of sending the case to trial or appointing an magistrate.

Photo: AFP

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