His lawyer denounced a “political execution”. Laurence Arribagé, former MP (LR) and current deputy (Horizons) to the mayor of Toulouse, was sentenced, Monday January 29, to three years in prison and five years of deprivation of her voting and eligibility rights .

The elected official wanted to “satisfy a vindictiveness strictly incompatible with the service of the general interest and that of her fellow citizens”, estimated the Paris criminal court. The decision has immediate effect, which means that Ms. Arribagé will lose her mandate as deputy mayor of Toulouse in charge of sports.

“Of course we will appeal,” his lawyer, Mr. Eric Mouton, told Agence France-Presse. He castigated a judgment accompanied by provisional execution, “legal heresy which allows a court to deprive you of your mandate while you are still presumed innocent”.

The former MP (2014-2017) was found guilty of concealment of slanderous denunciation, violation of professional secrecy and illegal taking of interest. She was suspected of having wanted to destabilize her rival Corinne Vignon (LRM) during the 2017 legislative election in the 3rd district of Haute-Garonne, through a denunciation for “tax fraud” and “hidden work” against him.

Corinne Vignon suspected of concealed work

While Ms. Arribagé, outgoing MP, found herself in difficulty at the end of the first round, the deputy regional director of public finances of Occitanie, Marc Menvielle – now retired – launched a tax investigation in June 2017 relating to the activities of Corinne Vignon as an amateur astrologer, whose income she did not declare (only 200 euros). At the same time, he had sent a report to the Toulouse public prosecutor’s office, without prior verifications.

Investigators then uncovered text message exchanges between Marc Menvielle and Laurence Arribagé, who was kept informed of the progress of the steps taken to cast shame on her rival. The maneuver did not prevent Ms. Vignon from emerging victorious in 2017 and being re-elected in 2022.

On Monday, Mr. Menvielle was sentenced to the same sentence as Ms. Arribagé. As for the third defendant in this case, Corinne Vignon’s ex-employer, Frédéric Sartorelli, he was sentenced to eighteen months in prison with a suspended sentence and a five-year ban on the right to vote and stand for election: he was accused of to have transmitted to the outgoing MP information relating to the astrologer activities of his opponent, and to have contacted the local press to inform them of the denunciation.

The three defendants will also have to each pay a fine of 10,000 euros.