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Probe turns up heat on Macron’s squeaky-clean pledges

PARIS (AP) — A French prosecutor has announced the opening of an investigation into one of President Emmanuel Macron’s ministers and closest supporters, casting fresh doubts over the newly elected French leader’s pledges of squeaky-clean government.

Having previously said there were no grounds for an investigation, the prosecutors’ office in Brest in western France reversed course and said Thursday it is opening a probe of Territorial Cohesion Minister Richard Ferrand.

The U-turn follows a drumbeat of media revelations and questions about Ferrand’s business practices before he became a lawmaker in 2012, when he led a Brittany insurance company.

The prosecutors’ statement said police will investigate whether there are grounds to suspect Ferrand for property crimes, lack of probity and violating insurance codes.

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