Former French prime minister Francois Fillon sentenced to jail

A French court on Monday convicted former Prime Minister Francois Fillon to five years in prison, three of them suspended, for embezzling public funds in a scandal that ruined his 2017 run for president.

The court further discovered Fillon’s wife, Penelope, guilty for her part in the scam that saw her gain about 1 million euros for minimal work as her husband’s parliamentary assistant. She received a suspended three-year sentence.

“Mrs. Fillon was hired for a position that was without use,” chief judge Nathalie Gavarino told the couple.

The Fillons would appeal the verdict, defence lawyer Antonin Levy said. It means Fillon will avoid going to jail before the appeal is heard.

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