A court handed former Paris mayor Jean Tiberi a suspended 10-month prison sentence Tuesday for vote rigging and declared him ineligible to contest for public office for three years.

The appeals court also gave his wife Xaviere a nine-month suspended sentence and a 5,000-euro ($6,533) fine for her part in a scandal which dates back to local and national elections in 1995 and 1997.

Tiberi, who is close to former president Jacques Chirac, is still mayor of the capital's fifth arrondissement, or district. The couple have denied any wrongdoing.

A probe was first launched in 1997 when the right-wing mayor's entourage was accused of adding thousands of fake voters to electoral rolls in a central Paris district ahead of the elections.

Tiberi was Paris mayor from 1995 to 2001, when he was succeeded by the Socialist Bertrand Delanoe.