Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been accused of illegally financing his campaign. This was decided by a court in Paris. The former head of state was sentenced to a year in prison, but Sarkozy does not have to serve it in prison. Punishment can be carried out at home, with electronic monitoring in the form of an ankle bracelet.
Sarkozy himself was not present when the verdict was pronounced. The maximum penalty that can be imposed by judges. The prosecution demanded a one-and-a-half year suspended sentence. It is not yet known whether the former president will appeal.
Sarkozy, now 66, is on trial over his 2012 campaign for re-election as president. He lost that election to socialist François Hollande. The case became known as the Pygmalion case.
According to the attorney general, Sarkozy spent nearly twice as much on his re-election campaign, compared to the 22.5 million euros allowed by law. The court considers this to be proven and says that although Sarkozy was not the organizer, he was aware of the fraud and did not deliberately intervene.
Sarkozy always said during the trial that he did not know the rules had been broken. In addition to Sarkozy, 13 others were also on trial, who were also convicted. They were accused of trying to hide the fact that far more money was spent on Sarkozy’s campaign than was allowed by issuing fake bills, among other things.
The second conviction
This is the second time this year that Sarkozy, 66, who still wields great influence in conservative circles in France, has been indicted. In March, he was convicted of attempting to bribe a judge. He was then sentenced to three years in prison, two of which are on probation. Sarkozy is still at large because the appeal is still pending. He can also appeal the case for which he was convicted today.
And earlier in France, Jacques Chirac, another former president, was convicted. He was convicted of fraud in 2011 when he was mayor of Paris before his presidency. Chirac was given a two-year suspended prison sentence.
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