French police raid Fillon’s home – over an alleged fake job scandal – as he is warned of political ‘abyss’

Police raided the Paris home of French rightwing presidential candidate Francois Fillon on Thursday over an alleged fake job scandal as a senior party colleague warned him he risked dragging his party “into an abyss”.

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Fillon revealed Wednesday he is set to be charged over allegations he paid his wife and children hundreds of thousands of euros for fake parliamentary jobs, but he has vowed to continue his bid for power.

After searches at his parliamentary office last month, police raided his central Paris home Thursday as he visited winegrowers on the campaign trial in southern France.

The raid “finished several hours ago”, a source in Fillon’s team told AFP late Thursday, confirming information first reported by Le Parisien newspaper.

Fillon was accused by Dominique de Villepin, another former premier from his Republicans party, of driving the right wing “into the abyss” with his insistence on running for the presidency.

“Going down this dead-end street is taking the state, our faith in democracy and its fellow travellers hostage,” de Villepin wrote in Le Figaro newspaper.