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‘Fake jobs’ trial begins for French ex-PM

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Penelope and François Fillon are both due to appear in court on Monday Former French Prime Minister François Fillon is due in court for his role in a “fake jobs” scandal.He is accused of paying his Welsh wife Penelope hundreds of thousands of euros for work she allegedly never…

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Penelope and François Fillon are both due to appear in court on Monday

Former French Prime Minister François Fillon is due in court for his role in a “fake jobs” scandal.He is accused of paying his Welsh wife Penelope hundreds of thousands of euros for work she allegedly never did when she was employed as his parliamentary assistant.Both are scheduled to appear on Monday. They deny the allegations.The scandal – dubbed PenelopeGate – began in 2017, when Mr Fillon seemed favourite to win the presidency.The centre-right candidate’s ratings plummeted after the allegations. Centrist Emmanuel Macron eventually won the election against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.Mr Fillon could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. The trial is scheduled to run until 11 March. Who is François Fillon?Mr Fillon has been in politics for decades. After serving as an MP, Senator, and in a number of ministerial roles, he became France’s prime minister between 2007 and 2012 under former President Nicolas Sarkozy.

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