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French prosecutors extend Francois Fillon probe to suspected fraud

An investigation into parliamentary jobs arranged by French presidential candidate Francois Fillon has been extended to new suspicions of fraud and forgery.

Prosecutors have allowed judges investigating whether jobs given by Mr Fillon to his British wife Penelope, from Abergavenny in Wales, were real to extend their probe to allegations of aggravated fraud, forgery and use of forgeries, a judicial official said.

Le Monde newspaper reported that investigators suspect the couple of forging documents after Mrs Fillon's alleged fake jobs were first reported in late January in order to prove she actually worked for her husband and that her salary was justified.

Mr Fillon has denied wrongdoing and vowed to keep campaigning for France's two-round, April-May presidential election despite being handed preliminary charges.

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