French politician's brother free despite drugs conviction
The brother of former French justice minister Rachida Dati was sentenced to five months behind bars in a Belgian drugs conviction Friday, but walked free from court.
Jamal Dati, 38, was given an eight-month jail term with three suspended, handed a 5,500-euro fine and saw impounded the car he was in when caught with 30 grammes (one ounce) of heroin and five grammes of marijuana.
However, prosecutor's spokesman Philippe Dulieu told AFP that he walked free saying that it was "impossible" to arrest him -- he had been released from preventive detention earlier this week -- given an understanding that sentences of less than one year are not enforced.
Belgium's jails are over-crowded, leading to a policy of leniency and the existence in practice of a symbolic 'behind bars' sentence.
Dati was previously given a one-year sentence in France in August 2007 for drug dealing.
© 2010 AFP