Former Prime Minister François Fillon was sentenced on Monday on appeal to four years of imprisonment, including one year of imprisonment, a € 375,000 fine and a 10-year disqualification in the case of his wife Penelope Fillon’s fictitious jobs.
In this case, his wife was sentenced to two years of imprisonment with suspended sentence and a fine of 375,000 euros, his former deputy Marc Joulaud to three years of imprisonment with suspended sentence. Two and five-year ineligibility sentences were also pronounced against them.
The couple and the former deputy were finally sentenced to pay around 800 thousand euros to the National Assembly, the civil party.
After the announcement of the sentence, François Fillont’s lawyers declared that they would appeal to the Supreme Court.
Not as exemplary as claimed
The story exploded in the middle of the presidential campaign of the right-wing candidate in 2017. He immediately took the name of his wife: Penelopegate. “Gate” in reference to Watergate, the sensational story that prompted US President Richard Nixon to resign in the 1970s.
The Penelopegate unearthed the fictional works of François Fillon’s wife. A shame for someone who said at the end of 2016 that “politics should not be confused with privacy“.
Penelope Fillon received more than one million euros for the parliamentary assistant jobs at the center of the file. This discreet 66-year-old French-Welsh girl with a classic look has always presented herself as a proud mother of raising five children, one “farmer“discreet, passionate about gardening and horseback riding,”private and out of this world in nature“.
Accusations of fictitious jobs of the two eldest children, submerged loan of 50,000 euros from a friend, two luxury clothes offered by another … the succession of revelations, at the beginning of 2017, put an end to François Fillon’s rise to the Elysée, which appeared to have been written after Hollande’s five-year presidency.
The murderous formula he used against Nicolas Sarkozy in the right-wing primary …who imagines de Gaulle indicted?“- then it comes back to him like a boomerang. Just like his image as a whole man,”proud of his values“, defending loud and clear the order, the family or the greatness of France.
“I will not try to return“, Stated on January 30, 2020 Mr. Fillon, converted into finance and at the International Automobile Federation (FIA).
He was heavily criticized at the end of February for having deplored “the refusal of Westerners” to listen to Russian claims about NATO. Faced with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he has finally resigned from his posts on the boards of the Russian companies Sibur and Zarubezhneft.
The sanction can be changed
The defendants, who were absent when the decision was pronounced at the Paris Court of Appeal at the beginning of the afternoon, have the opportunity to appeal to the cassation.
The prison sentence imposed on Mr. Fillon can be changed: in case of no appeal, he will be summoned before a judge of the execution of the sentence that he can decide, for example, if he wears an electronic bracelet.
These convictions for embezzlement of public funds, participation in the abuse of company assets and concealment of these two crimes in particular, are lighter than those pronounced in the first instance, on June 29, 2020.
The Court of Appeal in fact released the Fillons on the first of the three disputed contracts as parliamentary assistant to Penelope Fillon, between 1998 and 2002, “for the benefit of the doubt“.
The court of appeal, on the other hand, confirmed the guilt of the defendants in relation to the contract between Ms Fillon and Marc Joulaud between 2002 and 2007, as well as for the contract between the spouses in 2012-2013.
Likewise, the contract of “literary advisor“was judged by Penelope Fillon at the Revue des deux mondes”fictional“.
In the first instance, the former tenant of Matignon between 2007 and 2012 was sentenced to five years of imprisonment, of which two were detained, 375,000 euros and ten years of disqualification.
His wife had been sentenced to three years in prison, suspended, a € 375,000 fine and a two-year disqualification, when Mr. Joulaud received the same prison sentence accompanied by a € 20,000 fine and a five-year disqualification.