The favorite for the French presidency, Emmanuel Macron, has filed a lawsuit following comments made by his far-right rival Marine Le Pen in which she implied the independent centrist politician owns a secret offshore bank account in the Caribbean.
Macron, who has denied he holds any such account, filed a legal complaint on Thursday which prompted the French prosecutor's office to formally open an investigation ahead of Sunday's second round run-off vote. The lawsuit is not against Le Pen but is aimed at anyone spreading the rumors online.
During an intense and at times vitriolic live television debate between the two presidential candidates on Wednesday, Le Pen told Macron she hoped "we will not find out that you have an offshore account in the Bahamas" in an apparent allusion to online documents which attempted to link the political frontrunner to a Caribbean bank.
Macron replied, "No, Madame Le Pen, because that's defamation."