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France

Former Paris mayor and wife found guilty of vote-rigging

media Jean Tiberi (R), followed by his wife Xavière outside the court earlier … AFP

A French court has found a former Paris mayor and his wife guilty of vote-rigging in local and national elections in the 1990s. Jean Tiberi was given a 10-month suspended prison sentence fined 10,000 euros and banned from standing for public office for three years.

The 78-year-old former Paris mayor has been fined but will not go to jail, unless he commits another crime, after being found guilty in a long-running case – one of many that have seen French politicians accused of dirty business for electoral ends.

Dossier - The Bettencourt scandal

His 76-year-old wife, Xavière, was given a nine-month suspended sentence, fined 5,000 euros and stripped of her right to vote for two years.

Jean Tiberi, an ally of former right-wing president Jacques Chirac, was mayor of Paris from 1995-2007, when Socialist Bertrand Delanoë took over, and is still mayor of the fifth arrondissement on the Left Bank of the Seine.

The couple were accused, along with Tiberi’s deputy in the fifth arrondissement, Marie Affert, of adding friends, sympathisers of the right-wing RPR party and other non-residents to the electoral lists of their fiefdom ahead of local elections in 1995 and national ones in 1997.

Some of the beneficiaries were also reported to have received crèche places for the children, jobs or housing to seal their loyalty.

Affret admitted her involvement but refused to incriminate the Tiberis, who described testimony by former political allies as “lies” and denied all the accusations.

She was given a nine-month suspended sentence, a 1,500-euro fine and banned from standing for office for three years.

Tiberi’s lawyer, Thierry Herzog, said that his clients were likely to appeal.

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