Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy faces another prison sentence. He is said to have illegally financed the ultimately failed campaign for his re-election.
In the process of allegedly excessive election campaign costs, the prosecution has demanded a one-year prison sentence for France’s ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy. Of these, six months should be suspended, as the AFP news agency reported from the courtroom on Thursday. In addition, the 66-year-old is said to pay a fine of 3,750 euros.
“Nicolas Sarkozy apparently has no regrets because he only came to one hearing,” said public prosecutor Vanessa Perrée. The Conservative ruled the Élysée Palace from 2007 to 2012.
Sarkozy had denied the allegations in court. In the 2012 election campaign, he said, they didn’t go too far. The former hope of the civil right in France is accused of illegally financing the ultimately failed campaign for his re-election. The negotiations in the process should end in the coming week according to the previous planning. The judgment will only be announced at a later date.
13 other defendants have to answer in court for fraud or aiding and abetting. According to their own statements, the public prosecutor’s office demanded prison sentences ranging from 18 months to four years, which should be suspended in whole or in part on probation.
Upper limit clearly exceeded
In France, spending on an election campaign is capped in order to create more equality of opportunity between candidates. The upper limit allowed at that time was 22.5 million euros. In fact, Sarkozy’s team is said to have spent at least 42.8 million.
In order to cover up the overspending, expenses are said to have been camouflaged by a system of fictitious invoices from his former UMP party, now renamed Republican. The judiciary is also investigating in a separate investigation into alleged payments made by Libya in the 2007 election campaign.
In another affair in March, Sarkozy was sentenced to three years in prison, two of which were suspended, for bribery and illicit influence. He then announced that he would appeal.