Former French PM Fillon and wife to appeal court sentence - worldwide

  • Former French PM Fillon and wife to appeal court sentence - worldwide

Former French PM Fillon and wife to appeal court sentence - worldwide

Former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has been found guilty of embezzlement of public funds in a fake jobs scandal that wrecked his 2017 run for president and opened the Elysee Palace door for Emmanuel Macron.

The case ruined Fillon's 2017 presidential bid, at a time when he was widely tipped to result as the victor, paving the way for Emmanuel Macron's election.

After his defeat, Fillon quit politics and within months was named senior partner at French money manager Tikehau Capital.

But there is some doubt over whether the Paris court will deliver its ruling after a controversy erupted over alleged pressure on prosecutors. If accepted, a verdict may be delayed by months, but if the request is rejected it should come during the day.

His wife Penelope, who was also found guilty in the case, was given a suspended three-year sentence, according to the ruling read out in the Paris court.

Fillon's bid for the presidency unravelled after allegations surfaced that he had paid his British-born wife Penelope hundreds of thousands of euros for doing little, if any, work as his parliamentary assistant.

Penelope Fillon risks a three-year suspended sentence.

The work had brought the family more than one million euros since 1998.

The court ordered the Fillons to pay 401,000 euros in damages to the National Assembly, and told Penelope Fillon and Joulaud to pay a further 679,000 euros. "Mrs. Fillon was hired for a position that was without use".

The charges against the trio carry a maximum term of 10 years in prison.

The French court also convicted Fillon's wife, Penelope, of complicity to embezzle and hide of public money.

Fillon insists he was set up for "political assassination" by his rivals and was also the victim of a biased judiciary.