Former France presidential candidate Fillon likely to stand trial

François and Penelope Fillon could be prosecuted over scandal that destroyed his 2017 campaign

François Fillon was expected to win the top office until it was revealed his wife had received some €600,000 for a fake job. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

The French national financial prosecutor has recommended that former conservative presidential candidate François Fillon and his wife, Penelope, be prosecuted over the fake job scandal that destroyed Mr Fillon’s 2017 campaign.

The couple could be tried this year for misappropriation of public funds, fraud, theft and criminal complicity.

The prosecutor recommended that Marc Joulaud, who replaced Mr Fillon as a deputy in the National Assembly while Mr Fillon served as prime minister, also stand trial. Mr Joulaud renewed Ms Fillon's fake contract and increased her salary.

Mr Fillon was expected to win the president's office until the satirical weekly Canard Enchâiné revealed that Ms Fillon had received about €600,000 as a parliamentary assistant. "There is no evidence indicating the reality of Penelope Fillon's work," the prosecutor concluded in a summing up obtained by Le Monde.

Lara Marlowe

Lara Marlowe

Lara Marlowe is an Irish Times contributor