europe

Nicolas Sarkozy guilty of illegally financing 2012 election campaign


The former French president Nicolas Sarkozy faces a potential prison term after a Paris court found him guilty of illegally financing his unsuccessful 2012 re-election effort.

Sarkozy, who was not in court for the verdict, has denied wrongdoing and could potentially appeal against the decision.

Prosecutors said almost twice the maximum permitted amount of €22.5m (£19.4m) was spent on the campaign, in an election he lost to the Socialist party’s François Hollande.

He told the court in June that he had not been involved in the logistics of the campaign or in how money was spent. The court said he had been made aware of the overspending and it was not necessary for him to have approved each individual payment to be responsible.

The court will announce a sentence later. Prosecutors are seeking a one-year jail term, half of it suspended, for the 66-year old. He is in any case unlikely to go to jail immediately as he would be expected to appeal against the sentence.

Sarkozy was found guilty in a separate trial in March of trying to bribe a judge and peddle influence in order to obtain confidential information on a judicial inquiry.

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

He has denied any wrongdoing in that case.

More details soon …



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