François Fillon, former French PM, and wife receive prison sentence over accuse of fake job

The couple have said they will appeal against the sentence
The British Broadcasting Corporation

French ex-Prime Minister François Fillon and im Welsh wife don receive jail sentences inside one fake job case.

Dem find di conservative politician guilty of paying Penelope Fillon €1.156m (£1.06m, $1.3m) for work she no ever do as parliamentary aide.

Fillon collect sentence of five years in prison, three of dem dey suspended. Meanwhile, Penelope collect three-year suspended term.

Di scandal bin ruin im presidential bid for 2017. Both of dem don appeal, dis wan block Fillon immediate detention.

Di 66-year-old na di most senior French political figure to receive jail sentence since di start of di Fifth Republic in 1958.

Coronavirus masks block di couple dia expression as dem read di judgement out.

Wetin happun for court?

Di presiding judge as im deliver di judgement for di Paris courthouse say: “Di payment no align with di work done. Dem hire Mrs Fillon for position wey dey without use.”

Dem find her guilty of complicity to embezzle and hide public funds.

Both of dem chop fines of €375,000 ($423,000). In addition, court order di couple to return more dan €1m to di National Assembly, wey employ Penelope Fillon from 1998 to 2013.

Dem also ban her husband from public office for 10 years.

François and Penelope Fillon lawyers insist say di battle never dey lost, and say di appeal go be new and fairer trial.

Dem get big arguments. First na say, di court of law no get place to determine wetin be work on behalf of politician. You or I fit find am corrupt say MP dey pay im wife to do wetin she go probably do anyway for free – but dat one no means say e dey illegal.

Francois Fillon and im wife Penelope for 2012 for di Hotel Matignon for Paris

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Francois Fillon and im wife Penelope for 2012

And second – once dem tok am, di full story behind di former PM downfall go show di case in a different light. Di Fillon team don dey encouraged by claims from di former chief financial prosecutor say she bin dey “pressure” to speed up investigations ontop im head for early 2017.

E support dia view say di whole affair bin dey arranged to do di maximum possible damage. Even if dat were proven, though, e go dey necessary to affect di legal case against di Fillons. And dat- for now – deys very damning indeed.

Who be François Fillon?

He don dey politics for decade now. Afta im serve as MP, senator, and for some ministerial roles, he become France prime minister between 2007 and 2012 under den-President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Nicolas Sarkozy, left, dey laugh ontop stage alongside Francois Fillon

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François Fillon (right) be prime minister under President Nicolas Sarkozy (left)

Ahead of di 2017 presidential election, he win di centre-right Republican party presidential primary, and for January 2017 e be di clear front-runner for di polls.

But im bid for di top job fall apart later dat month.

Le Canard Enchaîné, one satire magazine, allege say im wife -wey bin formally dey employed as im parliamentary assistant for about six years for di 1990s and 2000s – no ever actually do her job. On top dat, dem pay her €831,400 for di role.

He deny di allegations. He say im opponents bin dey try to sabotage im campaign, and vow to press on with di election.

As di scandal grow he bin apologise “seriously” for employing family members, im tok say though legal, di practice bin dey cause “mistrust”.

But im poll ratings drop sharply. He come third for di first round of voting, missing out on di second-round run-off.