A French court is expected to issue a verdict in the trial involving former prime minister Francois Fillon over allegations he set up a fake job for his wife that paid her over €1 million in public funds.
The judicial case was prompted by an investigation of a French satirical weekly, the Canard Enchainé published in January 2017.
The paper alleged Fillon’s wife, Penelope, had been his parliamentary assistant for 15 years – except there was no evidence she did any work.
The case demolished Fillon’s 2017 presidential bid, at a time when he was widely tipped to result as the winner, paving the way for Emmanuel Macron’s election.
He did not even get through the first round of the election in April 2017.
Fillon, 66-year-old, has insisted his wife earned the money honestly, saying “there is not the slightest doubt” about the nature of her wife’s collaboration.
He was indicted in March 2017 for “embezzlement of public funds”, “concealment and complicity in the abuse of corporate property” and “breach in reporting obligations to the HATVP (France’s high authority for the transparency of civil servants.)”
Fillon had previously served as prime minister in Nicolas Sarkozy’s centre-right government between 2007 and 2012.