Ex-French president Sarkozy sentenced to one year for illegal campaign financing

A French court Thursday imposed a one-year sentence on former president Nicolas Sarkozy after finding him guilty of illegal campaign financing for massive overspending on his 2012 re-election campaign, France 24 reports.

The verdict came six months after he was found guilty of corruption in a separate trial.

The court will allow the ex-president to serve the sentence at home by wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet.

Sarkozy, who spent nearly twice the legal limit on his failed bid for a second term in office, wasn't present at the Paris court for the announcement of the verdict. 

Moments after the sentence was announced, Sarkozy's lawyer Thierry Herzog said he would appeal.

The 66-year-old right-winger pulled out all the stops in 2012 to try fend off the ultimately victorious Socialist candidate, François Hollande.

A series of lavish US-style election rallies caused his costs to spiral, with the final bill coming to at least 42.8 million euros $49.7 million), nearly double the legal limit of 22.5 million euros.

The case is known as the Bygmalion affair, after the name of the public relations firm that set up a system of fake invoices to mask the real cost of the events.

Prosecutors had sought a one-year prison sentence, half of it suspended, for the former president. The verdict is not the same as a suspended sentence, as it goes down in his record as a full prison term. 

It was the second guilty verdict this year for Sarkozy, who led France from 2007 to 2012 and retains influence among conservatives despite falling from grace over his legal woes.


You Might Also Like