François Fillon and his wife settled on appeal in case of suspicion of fake jobs

François Fillon et son épouse fixés en appel dans l'affaire des soupçons d'emplois fictifs

A day after Emmanuel Macron’s re-election, justice ruled for a second time in a case that affected the right-wing candidate’s campaign for the Elysee Palace, a one-time favorite but ultimately eliminated in the first round.

François Fillon, 68, and Penelope Fillon, 66, who have contested any hypothetical employment since the beginning, will not be present at the delivery of the decision at 1:30 p.m., no more than a former deputy of the first rank. The deputy in Sarthe, Mark Joulaud, 54, told AFP his lawyers. Withdrew from political life, Mr. Filon announced his resignation from his mandate on the board of directors of petrochemical giant Sibur and Zrubezneft (Hydrocarbon) in late February, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In the first instance, on June 29, 2020, Matignon’s tenant from 2012 to 2017 was sentenced to five years in prison, including two years in prison, a fine of 375,000 euros and ten years of ineligibility, for embezzlement of public funds. , complicity and concealment of misuse of corporate assets. His wife was given a suspended sentence of three years, a fine of 375,000 euros and two years of ineligibility, and Mr Joulaud was given a suspended sentence of three years, a suspended fine of 20,000 euros and five years of disqualification.

The couple immediately appealed and returned to the stand in November, maintaining the same defense in a much lower-power environment than in the first test. “I was not a fictitious deputy primarily concerned with money”, opposed François Fillon in an introductory statement, condemning “forty years of (political) commitment erased by an article of a satirical newspaper and an indictment”. Happened. “My wife worked with me, that’s undeniable,” he said.

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One year firm requirement

On appeal, the Public Prosecutor’s Office requested a shorter sentence than those imposed by the court. Against François Fillon, he sought five years in prison, including one year under an electronic bracelet, as well as a fine of 375,000 euros. For his Franco-Welsh wife, the public prosecutor asked for a suspended prison sentence of two years as well as a fine of 100,000 euros and a suspended prison sentence of three years for Mark Joulad.

Disqualification sentences of ten, two and three years respectively were also requested. A “bundle of signs” makes it possible to establish Penélope Fillon’s “fantasy” of three jobs between 1998 and 2013 as parliamentary assistant to her husband and his deputy, paid a total of 612,000 euros, the general lawyers argued. , ironically, “impenetrable” or even “latent” activities.

For the prosecution, the hiring of Ms Fillon as “literary consultant” in 2012–2013 within the Revue des Deux Mondes (RDDM) was a “pure feature work”, acknowledged by the publication’s owner, Marc Ladreit de Lachrire. did. To François Fillon. On the other hand, the magistrate requested the acquittal for partial censure and non-declaration of debt for cooperation contracts signed by two of Fillon’s children with their senator father between 2005 and 2007.

The National Assembly requested, as in the first instance, a reimbursement of just over one million euros. In contrast, according to the couple, Penelope Fillon worked “on the ground” in Sarthe, certainly “immaterial” but very “real”. Describing a file that “shrinks” like a “sore skin”, François Fillon’s lawyer, Mé Antonin Lévy, wrote “41 Certificate (Establishment) of Mrs Fillon’s contribution in a precise and detailed manner”. citing, requested for release.

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Defendant’s lawyers denounced the “media insanity” around “Penelopegate”, confirming that if she had certainly been “placarded” within the Revue des Deux Mondes, she had “worked” there. The Revue’s owner, Marc Ladreit de Lachariere, was sentenced in 2018 in a “guilty plea” process for misappropriating corporate assets, partly accepting the fictitious contract.

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