Sentenced, Michel Mercier, former Keeper of the Seals, showed a “certain” ethical elasticity “”, according to justice


The former French Minister of Justice, Michel Mercier, on March 29, 2012, in Paris

Senator Michel Mercier, former Minister of Justice of Nicolas Sarkozy, was sentenced, Thursday, January 26, to three years in prison suspended by the Paris Criminal Court for the fictitious jobs of one of his daughters and his wife , from 2005 to 2014. The 75-year-old former Keeper of the Seals was also sentenced to a fine of 50,000 euros for “embezzlement of public funds”, five years of ineligibility and a three-year ban from any public office. . The bill is heavy for the family, since his wife Joëlle was, in turn, sentenced to eighteen months suspended prison sentence and 40,000 euros fine and his daughter Delphine to twelve months suspended sentence and 10,000 euros. ‘fine.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers The daughter of ex-keeper of the seals Michel Mercier defends herself against accusations of fictitious employment

The former minister, in the end, is not doing so badly: he risked ten years in prison, the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office had only requested, on November 9, 2022, four, three of which were suspended, for three embezzlement of public funds and illegal taking of interest. The senator was not present Thursday at the delivery of the judgment, one of his lawyers, Mr.e Eric Dezeuze had no comment. But Michel Mercier, who had few doubts about his conviction, had slipped during the hearing that he would appeal, “like Fillon” : François Fillon had been sentenced, in 2020, to five years in prison, two of which are closed; his sentence had been reduced to four years, one of which was closed on appeal two years later – sentence suspended by his appeal in cassation.

The judgment of the 32e correctional chamber had to deal with a major obstacle, the prescription. The court cut the pear in half. For Delphine, the senator’s daughter, supposed to be – from London where she lived – her father’s parliamentary attaché, and who, from 2012 to 2014, received 37,777 euros from the Senate, the reality of her contract was only known. ‘after an article from chained duck of August 2, 2017: the offense was concealed and does not start until the publication of the article. The court finds that his employment contract was false, his employment, “clandestine”and his “fictivity established beyond a reasonable doubt”.

Facts “of a certain gravity”

For the wife, Joëlle, the matter is more complex. She received 84,525 euros in salary as her husband’s parliamentary attaché from 2005 to 2009 (she had actually started in 1999, but it has long been prescribed), with discretion “almost total”, agrees the court. Nobody was aware, it was believed that she was only the wife of Michel Mercier, president of the general council of the Rhône. She spent the money of the department to walk the influential wives of the region. “Nothing justifies” that she could “have the means of this community”admit the judges, but it was common knowledge and therefore “the illegal taking of interests” to the detriment of the department is prescribed.


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