Former French PM Fillon and wife to appeal court sentence - global

29 Juin, 2020, 17:03 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Former French prime minister Francois Fillon and his wife Penelope arriving at the Paris courthouse on Monday

The court also convicted Fillon's wife of complicity to embezzle and hide of public money.

Fillon was sentenced to five years in jail, with three years suspended.

His wife Penelope, who was also found guilty in the case, was given a suspended three-year sentence, according to the ruling read out in the Paris court.

The court ordered the Fillons to pay 401,000 euros in damages to the National Assembly, and told Penelope Fillon and Joulaud to pay a further 679,000 euros.

The allegations that Fillon had pilfered the public coffers for years pummelled his image as an upright fiscal hawk promising to right the country's finances - and loomed large in the "yellow vest" anti-government protests that rocked the country in 2018-2019.

The scandal sank Mr Fillon's 2017 presidential bid, just as the right-wing candidate had seemed on a clear path to victory.

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Judges sitting at the Paris Correctional Court ruled that the couple created fake jobs that paid Penelope hundreds of thousands of euros as his parliamentary assistant.

After missing out on a place in the run-off in 2017, Fillon, who was France's prime minister from 2007 to 2012, then left politics.

Fillon's parliamentary replacement, Marc Joulaud, was sentenced to a suspended three years in prison and fined 20,000 euros. He will remain ineligible for any political office for ten years.

The move came after the former head of France's financial prosecutors, Eliane Houlette, said earlier this month that she had come under pressure over her handling of the case, in reference to close supervision by her superiors.

Former French PM Fillon embezzled public funds, court r.

Fillon insists he was set up for "political assassination" by his rivals and was also the victim of a biased judiciary.

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