23:48 GMT +317 February 2019
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    France's President and UMP party candidate for his re-election in the 2012 French presidential elections, Nicolas Sarkozy waves to supporters as he arrives on stage at Trocadero square to deliver a speech during a campaign rally in front the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France May 1, 2012.

    French Prosecutors Seek to Try Sarkozy Over 2012 Election Campaign Fraud

    © REUTERS / Philippe Wojazer
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    French prosecutors have moved to have former President Nicolas Sarkozy stand trial over alleged breaches of campaign financing rules during his 2012 re-election campaign, media reported Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — In February, it was reported that Sarkozy had been placed under investigation for allegedly illegal financing of his failed attempt to return to the Elysee Palace in 2012. The investigation centered on a scandal involving the Bygmalion PR company which allegedly falsified Sarkozy's election campaign bills in order to circumvent France's strict candidate spending limits.

    The investigation into the case was closed earlier on Monday, the broadcaster Europe1 said, citing obtained information. The investigators found evidence that Sarkozy's 2012 campaign spending exceeded the maximum limit of 22.5 million euros ($20 million) and was disguised by means of bogus invoices issued by the Bygmalion PR company. The amount spent totaled about 50 million euros, the media outlet added.

    According to the media outlet, the former leader will not stand trial for the alleged campaign funding fraud before the upcoming presidential elections, scheduled to be held in spring 2017. Should he be elected the new head of state, he will be granted immunity from prosecution, only being tried after the end of his presidential term, the media outlet added.

    Nicolas Sarkozy served as president in 2007-2012 During his tenure as head of state he pushed through measures to curb irregular immigration and also oversaw a number of unpopular reforms, including raising the retirement age from 60 to 62, relaxing the 35-hour working week and altering the tax system to encourage overtime and home ownership.


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    trial, campaign, investigation, Nicholas Sarkozy, France