Former Prime Minister Francois Fillon was sentenced on Monday to four years in prison, including one year in prison, a 375,000-euro fine and 10 years in prison for fictitious work by his wife, Penelope Fillon. According to his lawyers, he is filing a cassation appeal.
A time model of “exemplary” presidential destiny, François Fillon, saw his career explode with Penelope, where he taught his reserved wife.
“I dragged my family through trials of unbelievable violence, and I have no desire to involve them in that violence again.”said in January 2020, the 68-year-old former prime minister in a rare interview on France 2.
(Re) read: Portrait: François Fillon, such a reserved man
Calm voice, stern look, Francois Fillon then challenged each of the accusations of Penelopegit, this allegedly fictitious case, which took the name of his wife. It is a shame for those who said at the end of 2016 that “politics should not be confused with personal life.”
In this case, which erupted in the middle of the presidential campaign of the right-wing candidate in 2017, his wife received two years probation and a fine of 375 thousand euros, his former deputy Marc Julot – three years probation. sentence.
They were also sentenced to two and five years in prison.
Finally, the couple and the former deputy were obliged to pay about 800,000 euros to the National Assembly, a civic party.
Adjustable fine and wearing an electronic bracelet
At the helm of the appellate trial from 15 to 30 November, in a much less tense atmosphere than at the first court hearing, the couple maintained the same defense identical since the case: Mrs. Fillon’s work “on the ground” at Sarthe was , of course, “intangible”, but very “real”.
“I was not a fictitious MP who dealt mainly with money”protested Francois Fillon in his introductory statement, expressing regret “Forty years of (political) commitment, erased by an article in a satirical newspaper and an incriminating investigation.”
“My wife worked with me, that’s for sure.”he assured.
Defendants who were absent at the beginning of the day at the Paris Court of Appeal have the opportunity to appeal.
Mr. Fillon’s imprisonment sentence can be adjusted: if he does not appeal, he will be summoned to a sentencing judge, who can decide, for example, whether to wear an electronic bracelet.
These sentences for embezzlement of public funds, complicity in misuse of corporate assets and, in particular, concealment of these two offenses are easier than the courts of first instance on June 29, 2020.
The Court of Appeals did dismiss Fillon over the first of three disputed contracts for parliamentary assistant Penelope Fillon between 1998 and 2002 “for question”.
The Court of Appeal, on the other hand, confirmed the defendants’ guilt over the contract between Ms. Fillon and Marco Julo in 2002-2007, as well as the contract between the spouses in 2012-2013.
Similarly, the Franco-Welsh woman’s contract with a “literary adviser” in the Revue des deux mondes was considered “fictitious”.
Penelope Fillon at the center of the scandal
Penelope Fillon would receive more than a million euros for her work as an assistant to parliament at the center of the case. This restrained 66-year-old Franco-Welsh woman with a classic look has always presented herself as a proud mother raising five children, a restrained “peasant”, a lover of gardening and horseback riding, “nature reserve and a little secular”.
The alleged fictitious work of their two eldest, an undeclared loan of 50,000 euros from a friend, two luxurious costumes offered to others … a series of revelations in early 2017 put an end to Mr. Fillon’s ascent to the Champs Elysees, which nevertheless seemed to be was written after five years of presidency in the Netherlands.
The murderous formula he used against Nicolas Sarkozy during the right-wing primaries – “Who imagines that de Gaulle is blamed?” – then returns to him like a boomerang.
I was treated unfairly, which was abnormal
Like his image as an honest man, he is “proud of his values” and loudly defends the order, family or greatness of France.
In the first instance, the former tenant of Matignon between 2007 and 2012 was sentenced to five years in prison, including two companies, 375,000 euros and ten years in prison.
His wife was sentenced to three years probation, € 375,000 in fines and two years in prison, while Mr Julo received the same sentence, along with a € 20,000 fine and five years in prison.
(Re) see: François Fillon: The Experience of Loneliness
The political end, according to some, is opportunistic for others
Born on March 4, 1954, into the family of a notary father and a historian mother, brought up in a Catholic environment with Hollist’s social convictions, this elegant man with a neat, not very long hairdo, always cultivated prudence.
“My legacy is limited to my house in Sarthe” – 14-room mansion, emphasize his enemies, – says Mr. Fillon, who has “neither a villa by the sea, nor a Ferrari hidden in a barn”.
“I was treated unfairly, which was not normal”assures a few years after who spoke of “conspiracy” and “dark office” during the outbreak.
This ENA enthusiast, who did not pass the ENA, made his first steps in politics as an assistant to the deputy Sable-sur-Sarthe and became the youngest member of the National Assembly in 1981.
The political end, according to some, opportunistic for others, he “like a crocodile: he seems to be asleep, but ready to eat anyone on the shore”believed in 2012, one of the ministers of his team.
From 1993 to 2005, he served in all right-wing governments, served in the Senate in 2005-2007, and then became Prime Minister of Nicolas Sarkozy for five years.
His image of sternness and his energetic promises to rebuild the country allowed him to win the 2016 primaries. Accused in March 2017 in Penelope, he was expelled in the first round of the presidential election and withdrew from political life.
“I will not seek to return,” – confirmed on January 30, 2020, Mr. Fillon, reorganized into finance and the International Automobile Federation (FIA).
In late February, he was sharply criticized for expressing regret over the “refusal of Westerners” to hear Russia’s claims against NATO. Faced with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he finally resigned from the board of Russian companies Sibur and Zarubizhneft.
France: Other former presidents and prime ministers convicted by the courts
In March 2021, Nicolas Sarkozy became the first former president of the Fifth Republic to be sentenced to one year in prison for corruption and trading in influence in the so-called “wiretapping” case.
Condemning “deep injustice”, he said he would challenge his three-year sentence, two of which were conditional.
Judges accuse him of promising to support the candidacy of senior magistrate Gilbert Aziber for a prestigious position in Monaco in exchange for confidential information.
The consideration of the appeal is scheduled for November 28, 2022.
Nicolas Sarkozy was also sentenced on September 30, 2021 to one year in prison for illegally financing his 2012 presidential campaign in the Bigmalion case. He also appeals.
Suspected of financing his 2007 campaign with secret Libyan funds, he was also accused in 2018 of “passive corruption, illegal campaign financing and concealment of Libyan public funds”, and then in 2020 of “association of offenders”.
From 1995 to 2007, Jacques Chirac was sentenced to two years’ probation in 2011 for “embezzlement”, “abuse of trust” and “illegal interest” in a case of fictitious work. the city of Paris since the early 1990s, when he was mayor of the capital and president of the People’s Republic of China.
Weakened by illness, he did not appear in court and did not file an appeal.
Prime Minister Jacques Chirac from 1995 to 1997 Alain Juppe was sentenced in 2004 on an appeal to fourteen months probation and one year in prison for “illegal interest” in a case of fictitious work in Paris.
Permanent members of the RPR, whose secretary general was Mr. Juppe from 1988 to 1995, were paid.
The Prime Minister from 1991 to 1992, Edith Cresson, was found guilty of being a favorite in 2006 by the European Court for hiring a relative as a member of her cabinet when she was EU Commissioner after she was in Mathignon. He is exempt from financial penalties.