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France's Sarkozy was found guilty of illegally financing the 2012 election bid

France's Sarkozy was found guilty of illegally financing election bid

October 01, 2021: -On Thursday, Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was made guilty of illegal campaign financing for his failed 2012 re-election bid by a Paris court.

This year, it was the second guilty verdict for Sarkozy, who led France from 2007 to 2012 and retains influence among conservatives despite the fall from grace for his legal woes.

The court was yet to say the sentence that he would receive. Prosecutors sought a one-year prison sentence, half of it suspended, for old former president aged 66. He is in any case unlikely to go to jail as he would be expected to appeal the sentence.

His conservative party had spent nearly double the 22.5 million euros allowed under electoral law on extravagant campaign rallies and then hired a friendly public relations agency to hide the cost, the prosecutor said.

Sarkozy has denied wrongdoing. In June, he told the court that he had not been involved in the logistics of his campaign for a second term as president nor in how money was spent in the election run-up.

But the court says that Sarkozy was made aware of the overspending, that he did not act on it, and that he didn’t need to approve each spending to be responsible.

In March, Sarkozy was found guilty in a separate trial of trying to bribe a judge and peddle influence to obtain confidential information on a judicial inquiry. He also denied any wrongdoing in that case.

The former president was sentenced to three years in jail in that trial – two of which were suspended – but has not spent time in prison until his appeal is pending.

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