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Former French PM Fillon found guilty of million-euro fake job fraud

Former French prime minister Francois Fillon on his way to learn his judicial fate.
Former French prime minister Francois Fillon on his way to learn his judicial fate. AFP/File
2 min

Former French prime minister François Fillon has been found guilty on charges that he set up a fake parliamentary assistant job for his wife, a position that saw her paid over one million euros in public funds for work she never did. 

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Fillon was sentenced to five years in jail, with three years suspended. He was been fined 375,000 euros as called for by the state prosecutor. He will remain ineligible for any political office for ten years.

His wife, Penelope Fillon, whose payment for fictitious parliamentary work was at the centre of the case, was given a suspended jail term of three years, and fined 375,000 euros.

Fillon's parliamentary replacement, Marc Joulaud, was sentenced to a suspended three years in prison and fined 20,000 euros.

All three accused found guilty

The former head of government under Nicolas Sarkozy was declared guilty of misusing public money. Penelope Fillon was found guilty of complicity in her husband's crime, and of receiving stolen funds. Marc Joulaud, was accused of having turned a blind eye to the illegal payments.

The judgement, handed down on Monday by a Paris criminal court, came despite a last-minute effort by the defence team to re-open the case in the light of claims by a leading member of the judiciary that she had been put under political pressure in her management of the case.

 

Pay back the money

In addition to the fines imposed by the Paris criminal court, the Fillon couple have been ordered to refund more than one million euros to the state.

Their lawyers immediately announced their intention to appeal the decision, condemning the "scandalous conditions" under which the initial trial was launched, and the "severity" of the penalties imposed.

The court did not order the arrest of either François or Penelope Fillon.

 

 

 

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