France Analysis

Verdict on ex-minister Jérôme Cahuzac shows French aversion to jail for tax fraud

After an appeal, former budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac has received a reduced sentence for tax fraud, making it now highly unlikely he will serve any time in prison. It was an unexpected and happy outcome for the former minister whose tax dodge was first exposed by Mediapart in 2012. But, as Fabrice Arfi argues, it sends out an unfortunate message in a country which is already reluctant to imprison white collar criminals – especially those in public life.

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Wearing a grey suit and white shirt with no tie, an impassive Jérôme Cahuzac left the Court of Appeal in Paris on Tuesday May 15th, 2018, without saying a word. Instead he left it to his lawyer Éric Dupond-Moretti to speak to the waiting media scrum and he was careful to avoid any sense of triumph.

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