French court shortens jail term for former PM Fillon – media

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A French appeals court on Monday upheld former Prime Minister Francois Fillon’s conviction for embezzling public funds, but cut a year off his prison term, media reported.

Fillon was sentenced in 2020 to five years in jail, three of them suspended, for paying his wife about 1 million euros of public money for minimal work as his parliamentary assistant – a scandal that ended his presidential ambitions.

The appeals court changed the sentence to four years in jail, three of them suspended, TV station BFM TV and newswire AFP reported.

When the scandal broke, Fillon denounced what he called a campaign of dirty tricks and denied having done anything illegal, though he later acknowledged making an error of judgment.

His original sentence was postponed after he launched an appeal. It was unclear whether he would serve time in jail in a country where sentences for white collar crimes are often commuted to detention at home with an electronic tag.

The former conservative politician, who since his failed 2017 presidential bid has worked in the financial sector, has fresh criticism for working for two Russian oil firms.

via Reuters

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