Fillon accuses French president of involvement in campaign to damage him

FILE PHOTO: Francois Fillon, former French prime minister, member of the Republicans political party and 2017 presidential election candidate of the French centre-right, attends a campaign rally in Maisons-Alfort, near Paris, France, February 24, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

PARIS (Reuters) - French presidential candidate Francois Fillon accused President Francois Hollande on Thursday of being involved in what he alleges is a government plot to spread damaging media leaks about his financial affairs.

"You have newspapers today which receive documents 48 hours after they were seized in searches, for example in my office in the National Assembly. Who gives them these documents? The government," he said in a television interview.

Asked if politicians or the justice system gave approval for this, Fillon said: "I will go much further. I blame the president of the republic."

(Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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