François Fillon: Former French prime minister sentenced to five years in prison

The verdict concluded that Fillon paid his wife and children, as well as Joulaud, hundreds of thousands of euros from public salaries for little or no work.

Fillon was sentenced to five years in prison, three were suspended, as well as a fine of 375,000 euros ($ 423,000) and a ten-year ban from running in the election.

His wife Penelope was sentenced to a suspended prison sentence of three years and a fine of 375,000 euros.

Filloni and their co-defendant were also ordered to reimburse the French National Assembly more than a million euros ($ 1.13 million).

“This decision … is not fair and we will appeal,” said Antonin Lévy, Fillon’s lawyer BFM-TV“A new trial will follow. In the last few days, we have begun to understand the gruesome conditions in which this investigation was launched.”

A scandal breaks out

Fillon was prime minister under President Nicolas Sarkozy between 2007 and 2012.

His problems began 2017. when the French satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchainé he reported that his wife and two adult children earned nearly a million euros as parliamentary aides for alleged bogus jobs.

He then dismissed his claims, saying his wife had worked as his deputy for 15 years and held several roles, including managing the schedule and presenting at cultural events. He also said his daughter and son had been employed in similar jobs for 15 and six months, respectively, which he said was not illegal, but was a “mistake in the verdict”.

Scandal diverted his campaign for the French presidency in 2017 and gave way to Emmanuel Macron’s victory.

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