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Ex-Socialist chief sentenced

A French court gave a former leader of the ruling Socialist Party, Henri Emmanuelli, an 18-month suspended sentence yesterday for illicit party fund-raising activities. The court announced the sentence hours after the cabinet of Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin took office following the left's victory in France's parliamentary election on Sunday.

The verdict, due a week ago, had been postponed to avoid interfering with the campaign.

The Lyons court said Emmanuelli, who was re-elected to the National Assembly on Sunday, had made no personal profit from the financing scheme. Reuters - Lyons