The former socialist deputy of Bouches-du-Rhône Henri Jibrayel was sentenced on Monday to one year in prison, including six months to be served at home using an electronic bracelet for having financed casino expenses with funds paid by the National Assembly.
The president of the court specified that the judges had carried out a precise analysis of the IRFM account of the elected official and the payments made by the National Assembly to arrive at the conclusion that “part of the funds paid and intended to cover the costs related to the exercise of his mandate has indeed been used for personal expenses “.
On the other hand, the court estimated that the reimbursement of a credit of 28,400 euros for the purchase of a vehicle with the funds from its compensation representative of agency fees (IRFM) and loans of honor granted by the National Assembly could not be considered as an embezzlement of public funds.
Gambling spending money is my money
At the hearing, the deputy had told him that other sums than those allocated to the exercise of his mandate were fed to his IRFM account. “The money spent on gambling is my money,” he repeated. “I did not use public money, I say so solemnly”.
The court also ordered a fine of 10,000 euros and deprivation of civil and civic rights – including eligibility – for five years. President Pierre Reynaud pointed out the “particular gravity” of these facts which “undermine the confidence that citizens are entitled to expect from their representatives”.
Found guilty of embezzlement of public funds, Mr. Jibrayel will have to pay the National Assembly 18,500 euros in damages, amount of personal expenses including 13,800 euros played at the Aix-en-Provence casino. The former elected had recognized a momentary addiction to the game in 2012-2013 due to “personal problems”. He specified that he had been banned from the casino at his request.
He is appealing his conviction
Aged 70, elected from 2007 to 2017 in the poor districts of Marseille, Henri Jibrayel appealed against this conviction.
“In ten years he received on his IRFM account much more than the sums paid for his allowances, it is for this reason that he intends to demonstrate before the Court of Appeal that the money played was indeed his personal money. “, commented his lawyer Me Jorge Mendes Constante, at the end of the deliberation.
On September 14, 2020, Mr. Jibrayel was sentenced for breach of trust and illegal taking of interests to thirty months in prison including ten months, a fine of 30,000 euros and ineligibility for five years for the use for electoral purposes of funds paid to associations by the General Council of Bouches-du-Rhône, of which he was elected. The appeal trial of this previous case has been set for the spring.