A French court has handed former prime minister Francois Fillon a five-year prison sentence, with three years suspended, after convicting him on charges of setting up a fake job for his wife.

Penelope Fillon, who was also found guilty in the case, was given a suspended three-year sentence, according to the ruling read out in the Paris court.

Both must also pay fines of €375,000.

The scandal sank Francois Fillon's 2017 presidential bid, just as the right-wing candidate had seemed on a clear path to victory.

He was tried on charges he orchestrated a fake job as parliamentary assistant for his wife, which paid her over €1 million in public funds.

Both will appeal the verdict, their lawyer Antonin Levy said shortly after the sentence was pronounced.

Mr Levy said the sentence was unfair, that there was a conspiracy against the couple and promised there would be a new trial.