He was a deputy, a five-time minister, a prime minister of Nicolas Sarkozy and a conservative candidate in the 2017 presidential elections
Former French Prime Minister François Fillon and his wife, Penelope, are on appeal since yesterday in the Paris Court for the so-called “Penelopegate”, the political scandal that ruined the presidential ambitions of the conservative politician.
The trial takes place a year and a half after Fillon was found guilty of embezzlement and sentenced in the first instance to five years in prison -two of them mandatory-, ten years of disqualification and to pay a fine of 375,000 euros for the fictitious employment of his wife in the National Assembly.
His wife was sentenced to three years in prison exempt from serving and Marc Joulaud, Fillon’s substitute as a deputy, to three years of suspended prison. All three appealed the sentence.
Fillon, 67, was a deputy, a five-time minister, Nicolas Sarkozy’s prime minister and a conservative candidate in the 2017 presidential elections.
The weekly ‘Le Canard enchaîné’ revealed in the middle of the electoral campaign that Penelope Fillon received, between 1998 and 2013, a total of 613,000 euros net for a position of parliamentary assistant for her husband and later his replacement, despite the fact that she never did that job , according to the indictment. Although Fillon started as a favorite in the polls, he failed to qualify for the second round. Emmanuel Macron ended up winning those elections.
The trial takes place on the eve of the primaries of Los Republicanos, Fillon’s party. Five candidates – including the European Union negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier – will compete in December for the conservative candidacy for the presidential elections in April 2022.
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