Sarkozy convicted of campaign financing in appeal process

As of: February 14, 2024 4:20 p.m

Former French President Sarkozy appealed against a verdict for illegal campaign financing. Now he has been sentenced again. Even if the verdict is more lenient, Sarkozy filed an appeal.

In the affair surrounding increased election campaign costs in 2012, an appeals court in Paris sentenced former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to one year in prison – six months of which were suspended. According to the court, the 69-year-old does not have to go to prison. The exact conversion of prison sentences should be decided later.

The sentence was somewhat lighter than in the first instance. More than two years ago, Sarkozy was sentenced to one year in prison without parole.

According to his lawyer, Sarkozy wants to appeal the verdict. Sarkozy did not commit any funds and he did not know that the cost limit had been exceeded. The defense had pleaded for acquittal in the trial.

Overspending is said to have been covered up

The case concerns the 2012 presidential election. Sarkozy’s team had more than doubled the capped campaign costs: according to the presiding judge, by at least 20 million euros.

In order to conceal this, expenses were said to have been disguised using a system of fictitious invoices by his conservative party UMP – now Les Républicains. According to the court’s assessment, Sarkozy had ignored important information at the time. He rejected these allegations.

The affair became known as the Bygmalion affair, named after the event agency that organized Sarkozy’s campaign events.

Ex-president repeatedly in the crosshairs of the judiciary

Sarkozy was French President from 2007 to 2012. Despite spending 43 million euros in 2012, the then incumbent lost the election to his challenger François Hollande. Sarkozy has also been fighting the French justice system for years over other affairs.

Stefanie Markert, ARD Paris, tagesschau, February 14, 2024 4:45 p.m

source site