Paris (AFP)

Former Prime Minister François Fillon was sentenced Monday in Paris to five years in prison, two of which are closed, in the fictitious jobs case of his wife Penelope who had derailed his presidential campaign three years ago.

The criminal court added this penalty - which could not be changed - to a fine of 375,000 euros and ten years of ineligibility. The judges did not issue a warrant.

His wife was sentenced to three years suspended prison, 375,000 euros fine and two years of ineligibility.

The Fillon couple's lawyers immediately announced that they would appeal their conviction. These sentences are in accordance with the requisitions of the National Financial Prosecutor's Office (PNF).

Marc Joulaud, the former substitute of François Fillon in Sarthe, who had also fraudulently employed Ms. Fillon as parliamentary assistant, was sentenced to three years suspended prison sentence, 20,000 euros suspended fine and five years ineligibility .

The three defendants were also ordered to reimburse more than one million euros to the National Assembly for these "embezzlement of public funds".

For the court, the contracts of parliamentary assistant to Penelope Fillon with her husband, then Marc Joulaud, between 1998 and 2013, had "no consistency" and met "no need".

François Fillon, who had defended the reality of his wife's work, has "not questioned", stressed President Nathalie Gavarino, describing the behavior of the former Prime Minister as "a failure not only to his duty of probity but also that of exemplarity "as a parliamentarian.

The Fillon spouses are also condemned for the fictitious jobs, in 2006 and 2007, of their two elder children Marie and Charles, hired as parliamentary assistants of their father when he was senator.

The Fillon couple was also found guilty of complicity and concealment of misuse of social goods, for the fictitious employment of Mrs. Fillon in the Revue des deux mondes, a title in the hands of a friend of François Fillon.

The former Prime Minister was, however, acquitted for not having declared a loan of 50,000 euros in 2012.

© 2020 AFP