Thursday, April 2, 1998 Published at 10:07 GMT 11:07 UK
Papon found guilty
Scenes from the courtroom where Papon was sentenced
A French court has sentenced Maurice Papon to 10 years jail for crimes against humanity.
However he was found not guilty of complicity in their murder.
Papon, whose health is frail, showed little reaction in the dock as the verdict was announced.
"The people of France have expressed themselves. An important page in our national history has been turned," said Alain Jacobovich, an attorney for one of the civil parties in the case.
They believe it will force France to confont the past and face the extent of its collaboration with the Nazis.
'What should I have done?'
Mr Papon's defence team has consistently argued that he acted only on orders and did what he could to save those condemned to the Nazi death camps.
Mr Papon earlier told the court in Bordeaux he had always acted on behalf of France. "What should one have done?" he cried out at one point.
"This is what is called a political trial," he said.
He attacked the civil party lawyers, prosecutors and the media and said that the trial had been a contributory factor in the recent death of his wife.