Former French PM Fillon jail sentence over fake job

Former French prime minister Francois Fillon and his wife Penelope found guilty

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. He is also banned from seeking elected office for 10 years.

Both will appeal the verdict, their lawyer Antonin Levy said shortly after the sentence was pronounced.

The case ruined Fillon's 2017 presidential bid, at a time when he was widely tipped to result as the victor, paving the way for Emmanuel Macron's election.

Mr Levy said the sentence was unfair, that there was a conspiracy against the couple and promised there would be a new trial. "We will be able to get a full and serene debate that will finally allow justice to be made".

The Paris court considered that Fillon "elaborated and established an organisation enabling him to misappropriate money for his personal use".

Prosecutors denounced "fraudulent, systematic practices".


She described her work as mostly doing reports about local issues, opening the mail, meeting with residents and helping to prepare speeches for local events.

Fillon met his Welsh-born wife while she was studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, and the couple soon married and moved to an imposing country estate near Le Mans where they raised their five children. The ex-prime minister is accused of employing his wife Penelope as a highly-paid aide for years despite the lack of evidence that she performed any legitimate work. It means Fillon will avoid going to jail before the appeal is heard.

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. The magazine owner, Marc de Lacharriere, already pleaded guilty and was given a suspended eight-month prison sentence and fined 375,000 euros in 2018.

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.

He left French politics in 2017 and now works for an asset management company.

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