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France

Former French interior minister sentenced in cash trial

media Claude Guéant leaving the tribunal in Paris on 13 November 2015 AFP/ Kenzo Tribouillard

A court in Paris has given Claude Gueant, a close aide of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, a two-year suspended jail sentence and fined 75,000 euros for his role in misusing public funds at the interior ministry. The former interior minister has also been banned from public office for five years.

Gueant worked closely with Sarkozy for a decade and served as interior minister from 2011 to 2012.

The case against him and several others dates back to between 2002 and 2004 when Michel Gaudin, a former national director general of the police, made monthly payments to Gueant of 10,000 euros from an expense account for police investigations.

A total of 210,000 euros was handed out, with Gueant keeping half and the rest distributed among the co-accused.

Guedin was given a 10-month suspended sentence, while three other members of Sarkozy's team were given short suspended jail terms and fined.

Gueant's lawyers have said they will appeal his conviction.

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