Former French PM Fillon sentenced to jail for embezzling public funds

By Tangi Salaün PARIS (Reuters) - A French court on Monday sentenced former Prime Minister Francois Fillon to five years in jail, three of them suspended, for embezzling public funds in a scandal that wrecked his 2017 run for president.

Reuters June 30, 2020 00:13:39 IST
Former French PM Fillon sentenced to jail for embezzling public funds

Former French PM Fillon sentenced to jail for embezzling public funds

By Tangi Salaün

PARIS (Reuters) - A French court on Monday sentenced former Prime Minister Francois Fillon to five years in jail, three of them suspended, for embezzling public funds in a scandal that wrecked his 2017 run for president.

The court also found Fillon's wife, Penelope, guilty for her role in the scam that saw her receive about 1 million euros for minimal work as her husband's parliamentary assistant. She received a suspended three-year sentence.

In a scathing ruling, the chief judge said Fillon, 66, had eroded public trust in the political class as a result of paying his wife a salary that was disproportionate to the work done.

"Mrs. Fillon was hired for a position that was without use," chief judge Nathalie Gavarino told the couple.

The Fillons would appeal the verdict, defence lawyer Antonin Levy said. It means Fillon will avoid going to jail before the appeal is heard.

A consummate political insider who was prime minister under Nicolas Sarkozy from 2007-2012, Fillon had been the frontrunner in the election race when the allegations surfaced.

At the time, he denied wrongdoing, resisted party pressure to pull his candidacy, and was eliminated in the first round of the vote.

When the scandal broke, Fillon denounced what he called a campaign of dirty tricks and denied having done anything illegal, though he later admitted an error of judgment.

But the court said the couple had failed to prove what work Penelope did and had amassed wealth as a result of the scam.

"The resulting personal enrichment (was) substantial," the judges determined.

Fillon stood expressionless as the sentence was announced.

The court also convicted a third co-defendant, Marc Joulaud, to a suspended three-year sentence for continuing to channel money to Penelope Fillon after he took the conservative politician's parliamentary seat while her husband was in government.

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.

(Reporting by Tangi Salaun; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Giles Elgood)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Aurora Cannabis plans more layoffs, facility closures amid industry turmoil
Business

Aurora Cannabis plans more layoffs, facility closures amid industry turmoil

By Arunima Kumar (Reuters) - Aurora Cannabis on Tuesday announced a new round of staff reductions and plans to shut five facilities over the next two quarters, as the COVID-19 pandemic pummels the cash-crunched cannabis industry. For most marijuana companies in Canada, which legalized recreational cannabis in October 2018, profits have proven elusive due to fewer-than-expected retail stores, cheaper rates on the black market and slow overseas growth. The industry has been further hit by the COVID-19 crisis, which has also upended financial markets, making it harder to get investor dollars

India levies charge on some steel imports from China, Korea, Vietnam
Business

India levies charge on some steel imports from China, Korea, Vietnam

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India has imposed an anti-dumping duty on flat rolled steel products that are plated or coated with alloy of aluminium and zinc originating in, or from China, Vietnam and South Korea, according to a government order https://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/customs/cs-act/notifications/notfns-2020/cs-add2020/csadd16-2020.pdf issued on Tuesday. The duty will be in the range of $13.07-$173.10 per tonne for 5 years, according to the statement

Gold vaults to highest since October 2012 as dollar stumbles
Business

Gold vaults to highest since October 2012 as dollar stumbles

By Diptendu Lahiri (Reuters) - Gold prices surged to their highest since October 2012 on Tuesday, driven by a weakness in the U.S. dollar and widespread monetary stimulus packages by central banks as a jump in coronavirus cases dents the economic outlook