13 Feb 2016
France’s former Budget Minister, Jérôme Cahuzac, is on trial this week for tax fraud.
Cahuzac, who was considered the French government’s “white knight” during his appointment for his actions against wealthy tax dodgers, has been accused of illegally concealing €687,000 of income from French tax authorities in 2009-2013 and laundering money in 2003-2013 through bank accounts in Switzerland, Panama, the Seychelles and Singapore.
If convicted, Cahuzac could face up to seven years in prison and a €2m fine.
The disgraced former minister’s lawyers have argued that the trial should be postponed, as Cahuzac is under both criminal and tax procedures at the same time.
In a statement in April 2013, he admitted wrongdoing despite months of strenuous denials to both Parliament and the media, including one of France’s top political interviewers.
Cahuzac, French President François Hollande’s leading tax specialist, was sponsoring a bill to crack down on tax evasion when the allegations of tax crimes came to light in December 2012.
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