Paris Court Convicts Ex-President Sarkozy to Year in 'Prison' for 2012 Illegal Campaign Financing

© REUTERS / BENOIT TESSIERFormer French President Nicolas Sarkozy leaves the courtroom during his trial on charges of corruption and influence peddling, at Paris courthouse, France, December 7, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy leaves the courtroom during his trial on charges of corruption and influence peddling, at Paris courthouse, France, December 7, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.09.2021
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The former French president did not arrive at the court to witness the announcement of the verdict.
A court in Paris convicted ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy to one year of home imprisonment after finding him guilty of illegal campaign financing in his unsuccessful 2012 re-election bid.
The ex-French president will serve the sentence at home under electronic surveillance, the judge said.
The former French president was represented in court by his lawyer Thierry Herzog.
The court found that Sarkozy was aware of the legal threshold for campaign spending and was warned of possible cost overruns. Despite this, Sarkozy continued his campaign rallies, the judge said.
According to Sarkozy's lawyer Thierry Herzog, Nicolas Sarkozy will appeal against an earlier court ruling which found him guilty.
The court hearings in this case were held from 20 May to 22 June. Sarkozy came to them only once to testify, according to the French media.
The Paris court case has been dubbed Bygmalion by the media - after the PR agency that was involved in information support for Sarkozy's 2012 election campaign.
Nicolas Sarkozy, former French president and candidate for the French conservative presidential primary, reacts after partial results in the first round of the French center-right presidential primary election at his campaign headquarters in Paris, France, November 20, 2016. - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.03.2021
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French Economy Minister Says Politicians Should Avoid Commenting on Sarkozy's Sentence
According to the prosecution, the politician's campaign headquarters used fake accounts for the meetings organised by the agency to hide the excess spending on the presidential campaign.
Within the framework of this case, 14 persons were charged; Sarkozy was charged with the illegal financing of the election campaign. The former president of France declared his innocence himself, denying the excess spending during this campaign.
The prosecutor's office demanded that Sarkozy be sentenced to six months in prison. In addition, the prosecution asked for another six months' suspended prison sentence and a 3,750 euro ($4,349) fine.
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