French court confirms ex-PM Fillon's conviction in 'fake jobs' scandal

France's Court of Cassation on Wednesday confirmed the conviction of former premier François Fillon in a fake jobs scandal that wrecked his 2017 presidential bid but ordered a new trial for his sentencing.

Fillon, 70, was sentenced on appeal on May 9, 2022 to four years' jail, three years of which were suspended, and a fine of 375,000 euros ($400,000). A new sentencing trial will take place in coming months at the Paris court of appeal.

The conservative politician was found guilty of providing a fake parliamentary assistant job to his wife, Penelope Fillon, that saw her paid millions of euros in public funds.

She was given a suspended two-year prison sentence for embezzlement at the 2022 appeal trial, and ordered to pay the same fine as her husband.

Both were also ordered to repay 800,000 euros to the lower-house National Assembly, which reimbursed Penelope Fillon for the job as her husband's assistant.

Under French sentencing guidelines, it is unlikely that Fillon will spend any time behind bars, and can be ordered instead to wear an ankle-bracelet.

The couple has always insisted that Penelope Fillon had done genuine constituency work.


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