The Court of Cassation rejected on Thursday the appeal of the former Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Thomas Thevenoud, making final his conviction for failing to declare his income.
Thomas Thevenoud, mocked for having invoked an "administrative phobia", had been sentenced on appeal on 31 January 2018 for tax evasion to one year suspended sentence and three years of ineligibility, like his wife.
The courts accused the couple of not having declared their income in 2012 and of having, from 2009 to 2013, completed their return late despite several reminders and notices of the tax administration.
They had also regularized their tax situation in 2014, paying a recovery of more than 70,000 euros and 20,500 euros late penalties.
The former 45-year-old minister appealed against his conviction on appeal, which was heavier than at first instance, considering that his tax problems were not of such "gravity" that they should be doubly punished. , criminal and fiscal.
A first appeal had failed last November at the Constitutional Council. The "wise" had considered that the "most serious cases of fraudulent declarative omission" can be doubly repressed, this gravity may "result from the amount of the rights defrauded, the nature of the actions of the person prosecuted or the circumstances of their intervention ".
In its decision consulted by AFP, the Court of Cassation validated the decision of the Court of Appeal which the judges had recalled, "in the case of Mr. Thévenoud, that the fact for an elected to whom attaches a duty of exemplarity, not to respect over several years a legislation in which it participates is a serious fact ".
Before the high court, Thomas Thévenoud's defense had also once again defended the principle of "ne bis in idem" (not twice for the same thing), challenging the cumulation of penal and fiscal sanctions for the same facts.
Me Patrice Spinosi challenged the appeal decision rendered in January 2018 before the Constitutional Council established, in November, a reservation of interpretation concerning "the omission". The lawyer therefore requested a new trial, to qualify "the seriousness of the facts" and "respect the proportionality of the penalties".
In its judgment, the High Court considers that this principle does not contradict its jurisprudence.
For his part, the Advocate General had ruled that the appeal should be dismissed, considering that the Court of Appeal had "noted the systematic nature of the declaratory omissions", as well as the function of Mr. Thévenoud.
He also noted that "by refraining from imposing a fine" against Thévenoud, the Court of Appeal had "necessarily taken into account the tax adjustments already made".
© 2019 AFP