► Why is it not safe to have the judgment Monday, June 29?
Following the trial, following the trial in March, the judgment of François Fillon, his wife Penelope and his former deputy in the National Assembly Marc Joulaud is expected to be returned to the Paris Correctional Court on Monday, June 29.
→ READ. Fillon case: controversial judicial reports
But recent statements by Éliane Houlette, former patron of the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF), now retired, have changed the situation. On June 18, before a commission of inquiry of the National Assembly on the independence of the justice, she explained that she had undergone many early 2017 “Pressures” of his hierarchy, via the Attorney General, who wanted to have a “Fast transmission” various investigative acts concerning François Fillon, then in the midst of the presidential campaign.
These requests for feedback of judicial information are legal and relatively common. But since this Prosecutor’s Office is under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice, some have then considered that the “ pressures “Evoked are proof that the Fillon affair was indeed used politically. To put an end to the controversy, Emmanuel Macron asked the Superior Council of the Judiciary for an opinion.
Defense lawyers, who believe that the investigation has always been a charge, have seized this new episode to request the reopening of the proceedings, so as to admit the statements of Éliane Houlette, as well as the future opinion of the Superior magistrate counsel.
It is therefore up to President Nathalie Gavarino to respond to this request, from Monday June 29 at 1:30 pm If she refuses it, she will render her judgment. If she accepts, the deliberation could be postponed for several months.
► What are the facts that led to the trial?
January 25, 2017, while François Fillon is LR candidate in the presidential election, The chained Duck reveals that Penelope Fillon was employed as parliamentary assistant to her husband and then to her deputy Marc Joulaud, from 1998 to 2007 for a total amount of € 500,000. The article adds that Penelope Fillon also benefited from a fictitious job between May 2012 and December 2013 at the Revue des deux Mondes, property of billionaire Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, a close friend of the couple.
→ BENCHMARKS. Fillon case: fictitious job revelations at the request to reopen the trial, key dates
The same day, the national financial parquet, suspecting a fictitious job, opens an investigation for “Embezzlement of public funds, misuse of corporate assets and concealment of these crimes”.
The candidate then greets a “Particularly quick decision” who “Will silence a slander campaign”. The next day, he said he would give up if he was indicted.
1is February, The chained Duck publishes a new article revealing that Penelope Fillon has in fact been employed since 1988 and has received a total of more than € 900,000 gross. Two of her children, Marie and Charles, were employed as parliamentary assistants from 2005 to 2007.
On February 2, France 2 broadcasts extracts from an interview granted in May 2007 by Penelope Fillon to Daily Telegraph, in which she declares to have ” never been the assistant ” from her husband.
On March 5, as defections accumulated on the right, François Fillon declared on France 2 that ” no one “Cannot” prevent being a candidate ».
On March 14, he was indicted for “Embezzlement of public funds”, “concealment and complicity in the abuse of social property” and “Breach of reporting obligations to the High Authority for the transparency of public life”. On March 28, it was Penelope Fillon’s turn to be indicted, in particular for “Complicity and concealment of embezzlement of public funds”.
On April 23, after a campaign greatly disrupted by the affair, the candidate of the right came third by obtaining a little more than 20% of the votes.
► How was the trial?
Questioned by the court from February 26 to March 9, the Fillon couple tried to convince of the reality of the work of parliamentary assistant of Penelope in the service of François. Each in his own way, him all returned anger, she more shy. The salaries mentioned represent € 613,000 net of public money for three contracts between 1998 and 2013. According to the defense, it managed its local agenda and the mail, was a « relais » and “Eyes and ears” from her husband in the riding. The spouses produced testimonies from former collaborators or attestations from 34 inhabitants or elected officials of Sarthe.
But tangible evidence of this work has remained tenuous. Thus, at no time were written traces of written notes produced. Penelope Fillon also did not remember the names of the many people received. In addition, in Sarthe, obviously, neither the journalists nor the elected officials nor the inhabitants, nor even the other collaborators knew that Penelope Fillon was the assistant of her husband.
Unconvinced, the two prosecutors of the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) pronounced, the March 10 and 11, 2020 heavy requisitions, asking for five years in prison, including three years suspended, € 375,000 fine and ten years of ineligibility against François Fillon. For his wife, they demanded the same fine and a three-year suspended prison sentence. Finally, against Marc Joulaud, the Public Prosecutor’s Office asked for a two-year suspended sentence and a € 20,000 fine. The lawyers are pleading for release.