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17 June, 2024
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Sarkozy sentenced to one year in jail for illegal campaign financing

The former French president received a one year prison sentence with half suspended which he can serve through alternative means


The Paris appeals court found former French President Nicolas Sarkozy guilty of illegal campaign financing for his failed 2012 re-election bid. The lower court's previous ruling was confirmed.

Sarkozy received a one-year prison sentence, with half suspended. He can serve the sentence through alternative means, such as wearing an electronic bracelet, without going to jail.

In 2021, Sarkozy received a one-year prison sentence after being found guilty. However, the sentence was suspended while he launched his appeal.

Despite a series of trials and investigations related to his campaign finances, Sarkozy, who served as president from 2007 to 2012, remains an influential figure among conservatives and maintains a friendly relationship with President Emmanuel Macron.

He has consistently denied accusations that his party, Les Republicains (formerly known as the UMP), collaborated with a public relations firm called Bygmalion to conceal the true cost of his campaign. The campaign was marked by lavish events that had never been seen before in French politics.

During the hearing, Sarkozy attributed the blame to some members of his campaign team, stating, 'I did not choose any supplier, nor did I sign any quotation or invoice,' to the court.

France imposes strict limits on campaign spending. Prosecutors allege that the firm invoiced UMP instead of the campaign. They claim that Sarkozy spent 42.8 million euros on his 2012 campaign, which is almost double the permitted amount.

[Source: Reuters]

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