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Fictitious jobs: judgment Thursday for the former Keeper of the Seals Michel Mercier


The Paris Criminal Court renders its judgment on Thursday concerning the former Keeper of the Seals Michel Mercier, suspected of having granted jobs...

The Paris Criminal Court delivers its judgment on Thursday concerning the former Keeper of the Seals Michel Mercier, suspected of having granted fictitious parliamentary jobs to his wife and one of his daughters between 2005 and 2014.

The former minister of Nicolas Sarkozy (2010-2012) is prosecuted for embezzlement of public funds and illegal taking of interests for having employed the two women for years without being able to prove the reality of their work, while he was a senator and President of the General Council of the Rhône.

four years imprisonment

Denouncing "

the contradictions and the most total artistic vagueness

" of Michel Mercier, "

who opts for dodging and countercurrent responses

", the prosecution requested against him four years of imprisonment, including one firm, ten years ineligibility and a five-year ban from public office.

Against his wife Joëlle and his daughter Delphine, respectively two years suspended sentence and eighteen months suspended sentence were requested.

During the trial, in October and November, Mr. Mercier's defense pleaded for release and the 75-year-old former minister denied any desire to do wrong, highlighting his status as a rural elected official and pleading peasant common sense in the face of the "


" of the national financial prosecutor's office (PNF).

Justifying his daughter's employment as a parliamentary assistant from 2012 to 2014, when she lived in London and never set foot in the Senate, he claimed that she served as his "

cultural adviser


Delphine Mercier, however, did not keep track of her work, Michel Mercier claiming to have "

never received written notes from anyone

" and that he wanted "

oral, nothing but oral

" .

His wife, for her part, tried to justify her job as a parliamentary assistant from 2005 to 2009, explaining that she represented her husband at fairs or funerals.

It also organized “

cultural events

” for wives of Rhone notables, at the expense of the General Council of the Rhône, which earned Michel Mercier the accusation of illegal taking of interests.

The defense believes that these facts are time-barred.

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The facts judged are spread over a period when family parliamentary jobs were not yet prohibited.

They have been since the summer of 2017 following the resounding Fillon affair.

The investigation, opened by the PNF in August 2017 after an article in Le Canard enchaîné, had led the former Keeper of the Seals to give up the seat which was then promised to him on the Constitutional Council.

The former minister and senator remains implicated in another file of fictitious jobs.

Since 2019, he has been indicted in the case of MoDem MEP assistants alongside other centrist party executives, including François Bayrou.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-25

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