Europe

Verdict expected in French budget minister's tax scandal

  • FILE - In this July 23, 2013 file photo, former French Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac waits for the start of a hearing at the National Assembly in Paris, France. A former French budget minister who had championed the fight against tax evasion is now facing prison for himself dodging taxes as a Paris court returns a verdict in one of the biggest political scandals under President Francois Hollande. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon, File)

    FILE - In this July 23, 2013 file photo, former French Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac waits for the start of a hearing at the National Assembly in Paris, France. A former French budget minister who had championed the fight against tax evasion is now facing prison for himself dodging taxes as a Paris court returns a verdict in one of the biggest political scandals under President Francois Hollande. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2016 file photo, former French budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac leaves the courthouse, in Paris. Cahuzac has been sentenced Thursday Dec. 8, 2016 to three years in prison in one of the biggest political scandals of French President Francois Hollande's government. A Paris court ruled that Cahuzac was guilty of tax fraud and money laundering for hiding his wealth in tax havens around the world. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2016 file photo, former French budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac leaves the courthouse, in Paris. Cahuzac has been sentenced Thursday Dec. 8, 2016 to three years in prison in one of the biggest political scandals of French President Francois Hollande's government. A Paris court ruled that Cahuzac was guilty of tax fraud and money laundering for hiding his wealth in tax havens around the world. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2016 file photo, former French budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac closes his yes as he leaves the courthouse, in Paris. Cahuzac has been sentenced Thursday Dec. 8, 2016 to three years in prison in one of the biggest political scandals of French President Francois Hollande's government. A Paris court ruled that Cahuzac was guilty of tax fraud and money laundering for hiding his wealth in tax havens around the world. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2016 file photo, former French budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac closes his yes as he leaves the courthouse, in Paris. Cahuzac has been sentenced Thursday Dec. 8, 2016 to three years in prison in one of the biggest political scandals of French President Francois Hollande's government. A Paris court ruled that Cahuzac was guilty of tax fraud and money laundering for hiding his wealth in tax havens around the world. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)  (The Associated Press)

A Paris court is preparing to return a verdict in one of the biggest political scandals of French President Francois Hollande's government.

Hollande's former budget minister, Jerome Cahuzac, is charged with tax fraud and money laundering for allegedly hiding his wealth in tax havens around the world.

Prosecutors have asked the court to convict and sentence him on Thursday to three years in prison.

Cahuzac and his ex-wife have acknowledged owning illegal foreign bank accounts for two decades. They have already paid 2.3 million euros ($2.5 million) in back taxes to French authorities.

As budget minister, Cahuzac led efforts in France to crack down on tax evasion.

The scandal fueled public mistrust of traditional politicians and demands for more transparency, issues that are surfacing in the upcoming French presidential election.