Paris prosecutors call for seven-year jail term for Sarkozy ally Patrick Balkany

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Public prosecutors have ended their summing up in the trial on corruption, tax evasion and money laundering charges of Patrick Balkany, a veteran figure of the French conservative movement, mayor of Paris suburb Levallois-Perret, whose more than 40-year political career has been largely tainted by scandal. Unlike the leniency often displayed in political corruption cases in France, the prosecutors called for the 70-year-old to be sentenced to seven years in jail and barred from holding public office for ten years, prompting outrage from Balkany and his lawyer. Mediapart’s legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan reports on the hearing at the central Paris law courts.

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There was an expression of both rage and humiliation on the face of Patrick Balkany, the 70-year-old French conservative party veteran and mayor of a large Parisian suburb, as he left a Paris court on Thursday, after prosecutors had called for him to be sentenced to seven years in prison and barred from holding public office for ten years.