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Fictitious jobs: Michel Mercier, former Minister of Justice, sentenced to three years in prison suspended


Nicolas Sarkozy's ex-Keeper of the Seals was suspected of having granted fictitious parliamentary jobs to his wife and one of his daughters

The judgment fell for Michel Mercier, Minister of Justice from 2010 to 2012. The Paris Criminal Court sentenced him on Thursday to three years in prison, suspended, considering that the politician had indeed granted fictitious parliamentary jobs to his wife and one of his daughters between 2005 and 2014, according to AFP.

The former minister of Nicolas Sarkozy was 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 senator and president of the council General of the Rhone.

Denouncing "the contradictions and the most total artistic vagueness" of Michel Mercier, "who opts for dodging and countercurrent responses", the prosecution had requested against him the prosecution had requested against him four years of imprisonment, including one firm, ten years of ineligibility and a ban on any public office for five years.

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

During the trial, in October and November, the defense of Michel Mercier had pleaded for release.

The 75-year-old former minister had denied any desire to do wrong, highlighting his status as a rural elected official and pleading peasant common sense against the "Parisians" 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".

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

The facts judged were 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.

Michel Mercier 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: leparis

All tech articles on 2023-01-26

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