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French ‘Frexit’ champion held over intercourse assault claims

Issued on: 04/02/2021 – 12:54Modified: 04/02/2021 – 12:53

Paris (AFP)

The police have arrested the head of a party against the European Union, the former French presidential candidate Francois Asselineau, for sexual assault and harassment, the prosecutors said.

The 63-year-old Asselineau faces the People’s Republican Union (UPR), which campaigned for France to leave the alliance between the EU and NATO.

His arrest could destroy his hopes for another stab in the presidency in 2022 after battling for the top spot for the first time in 2017, winning just 0.92 percent of the vote.

Asselineau has been under investigation for sexual and non-sexual assault and harassment since May 2020, the Paris prosecutor told AFP late Wednesday.

Two former UPR employees filed complaints against Asselineau, who dismissed the allegations as “defamation”.

His aides insisted on Wednesday that the claims were false.

France has been rocked by a wave of allegations of sexual assault against established figures in politics and the arts.

Other politicians accused of sexual assault include Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and former Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot. Both men denied the allegations. Neither was charged with a crime.