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AFP
June 30, 2020

French ex-PM, wife jailed in fake job scandal

Top Story

AFP
June 30, 2020

PARIS: Ex-French prime minister Francois Fillon and his wife were handed two years behind bars in a fake job scandal. Earlier, two other premiers and one president have been convicted in modern-day France. Former conservative president Jacques Chirac (1995-2007) was in December 2011 given a two-year suspended sentence after being found guilty of embezzlement in connection with charges that he used public money to pay people working for his political party while he was Paris mayor.

The ailing 79-year-old did not attend his trial, nor did he appeal. It was the first time that a former president had been convicted. Prime minister under Chirac from 1995 to 1997, Juppe was sentenced in 2004 to a 14-month suspended jail term in a separate scandal over fake jobs for members of his right-wing RPR party at Paris city hall between 1988 and 1995. He was barred from holding public office for one year. The European Court of Justice in 2006 convicted Edith Cresson, who was France´s prime minister from 1991 to 1992, of favouritism for granting a job to a friend while she was a European Commissioner in Brussels in the late 1990s.

Former rightwing president Nicolas Sarkozy, from 2007, has faced a number of legal probes into corruption and campaign financing violations since he left office in May 2012 and he lost his presidential immunity.

He was charged in February 2017 with illegal financing of his 2012 campaign. His trial could take place in 2020. Sarkozy is expected in October to become France´s first ex-president to stand trial on corruption charges in a case in which he is accused of trying to obtain classified information from a judge.

Since 2013, investigating magistrates have also been examining allegations that former Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi´s regime helped finance Sarkozy´s successful 2007 presidential campaign.

Balladur, 88, prime minister from 1993-1995, faces trial on charges he used the kickbacks from arms sales to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia signed in 1994 in what is known as the “Karachi affair” to help fund his failed 1995 presidential bid.