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France

French bureaucrat handed suspended sentence for astronomical taxi rides

media Agnès Saal has been handed three month prison sentence for spending thousands of euros from the company accounts on taxi rides. AFP photo/Dominique Faget

Agnès Saal, the former director of Centre Pompidou, was handed a three-month suspended sentence and fined 3000 euros on Friday for the use of her professional account with a taxi company that resulted in rides costing 38,000 euros in the period between 2013 and 2014.

Just days earlier, the 58-year-old had been fined 4,500 euros by a court in Créteil for having spent a shocking 40,000 euros on taxis in just 10 months between May 2014 and April 2015, when she was in charge of the National Audiovisual Institute (INA) whose mission is to manage and archive the French audiovisual production.

While at INA, she took 685 taxi rides half of which were taken by her son, two daughters and an aunt.

The revelation of the scandal involving one of France’s top bureaucrats had created a huge public uproar last year.

A Presidential decree subjected her to disciplinary action which included six months of exclusion from public service.

According to one of her lawyers, the recovery of these astronomical sums has already been done or is in progress.
 

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