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Former minister Pasqua gets one-year suspended sentence

media Former Interior Minister Charles Pasque leaving court in Paris, 30 April Photo: Reuters

Right-wing former Interior Minister Charles Pasqua was given a one-year prison sentence at the end of a trial on three counts of embezzlement. Pasqua was a key figure in France's mainstream right Gaullist movement in the 1980s and 1990s.

Pasqua was found guilty on only one of the charges against him - that of siphoning off money from arms exporter, Sofremi, which was run by the Interior Ministry.

As he pointed out on leaving court, he was let off on two other charges.

"The corruption  accusations are over and done with," he said Friday. "They didn't stand up to objective examination. How can anyone imagine that I could have been corrupted?"

The prosecution had called for him to be sent to jail for two years and given a further two-year suspended sentence.

Pasqua, who was a controversial Interior Minister from 1986 to1988 and again between 1993 and1995, is an emblematic figure on the French right and played a historic role in the post-war Gaullist movement.

He has already been found guilty in several other cases which did not pertain to his time in government.

He is currently appealing against a one-year prison sentence passed last year in the Angolagate case of arms-trafficking to the wartorn country.


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