A real indictment. Even more severe than that pronounced in March by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office. ” Job of convenience », « personal enrichment », « breach of the duty of probity and exemplarity »… The words click this Monday, June 30. And Nathalie Gavarino, the president of the 32e correctional chamber, uses heavy artillery to render the judgment against François and Penelope Fillon, both ultimately severely condemned. Five years in prison, three of which were suspended for him, or two years in prison. And three years suspended for her. With a bonus a fine of € 375,000 for each of them. Exactly the same penalties as those requested by the prosecution at the end of the trial.
A trial in a heavy atmosphere
It was just before confinement that this Fillon trial was held. In a heavy atmosphere. During the nine days of the hearing, the former Prime Minister had tried to convince the court of the reality of the work of his wife as parliamentary assistant, from 1998 to 2013. First in his service and then that of Marc Joulaud, his substitute who became a deputy from 2002 to 2007. Willingly scrap metal worker, François Fillon had explained that Penelope’s work, carried out in the shadows and more often than not at his home in Sarthe, had been as precious as it was consistent.
→ EXPLANATION. Fictitious jobs: François Fillon sentenced to two years in prison
This is clearly not the opinion of the court which, first of all, chose not to accept the reopening of the proceedings requested by the defense of François Fillon after the statements of the former head of the PNF, Éliane Houlette, on the “Pressures” of his hierarchy during the survey launched in early 2017 (The cross June 22). Lawyers for the former Prime Minister hoped to demonstrate that the PNF had acted with political motives and without impartiality. Unfortunately, today, the court takes over all the arguments of financial prosecutors.
“There is no logic in recruiting Ms. Fillon”
And it stings in the courtroom. Because if she speaks in a monotone voice, Nathalie Gavarino is ruthless with the couple Fillon. She certainly recognizes that Penelope has always supported the political career of her husband. But according to the court, this was limited to participation in a few local demonstrations in the Sarthe and a “Physical transmission” mail to which she did not reply. “ There is no logic in recruiting Ms. Fillon “Nathalie Gavarino maintains, noting that neither the file, nor the hearing, nor the documents brought by the defense” only allowed to update »The reality of his work for which Penelope Fillon has received more than a million euros gross in fifteen years.
But it is especially on François Fillon that falls the lightning of the court. According to him, the former leader of the right knowingly acted to recover for his benefit the ” maximum funds Made available to it by the National Assembly to pay its parliamentary staff. ” Ms. Fillon has always been paid as much as possible “Notes Nathalie Gavarino, estimating that the former Prime Minister did “Prevail his personal interest over the common interest”. Even the reality of the work of the two children of François Fillon, whom he had hired as assistants between 2005 and 2007 when he was a senator, is partially disputed by the court.
One million euros in damages for the Meeting
Just before announcing the sentences, the president castigates the “ breach of probity and exemplarity By François Fillon. ” By virtue of your duties and your experience of political life, you should have perceived this growing requirement more acutely “, Says Nathalie Gavarino, who is also fighting Penelope Fillon. ” Given your level of qualification and your legal training, you could not ignore that by receiving this undue remuneration, you were committing particularly serious offenses. »
→ BENCHMARKS. Fillon case: fictitious job revelations at conviction, key dates
Found guilty of embezzlement of public funds, François Fillon therefore received two years in prison but remained free pending his appeal trial. He is also sentenced to ten years of ineligibility and will, with his wife, pay the National Assembly one million euros in damages. Beaten this weekend in the municipalities of Sablé-sur-Sarthe, Marc Joulaud, he is sentenced to three years suspended and five years of ineligibility.
“A judgment without measure”
Me Antonin Lévy, lawyer for François Fillon
“This judgment is just a copy and paste of the indictment of the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office. It is without measure and does not comply with the law or the reality of the facts. At no time did the court heed the defense arguments. It even sweeps away, in a lapidary page, our demonstration on the attack carried in this case, in our opinion, with the principle of the separation of the powers. We have of course appealed and we will make sure during this second trial to demonstrate the ubiquitous and oriented conditions in which this investigation was conducted from the start. “
Collected by Pierre Bienvault