PARIS, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- France's scandal-hit former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac on Monday started an appeal trial to seek a softer sentence over charges of tax fraud, according to local media.
Cahuzac, of the Socialist Party, was found guilty of tax fraud and money laundering in 2016. He was jailed for three years.
Earlier on Monday, he said as he arrived at the court house in Paris that he did not want "(his) mother and (his) children to see him in prison".
"I have a rather banal feeling of fear," he was quoted as saying by local media.
Cahuzac was forced to resign from his ministerial post in 2013 when he confirmed allegations of holding a secret 600,000 euro (736,200 U.S. dollar) foreign bank account.
Before that, he repeatedly denied he held an undisclosed account at the Swiss bank UBS until the start of 2010.
The 65-year-old former plastic surgeon had led the government crackdown on tax evasion when he joined former president Francois Hollande's government in 2012.