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Former French President Sarkozy’s guilty verdict for illegal campaign financing upheld

former-french-president-sarkozy’s-guilty-verdict-for-illegal-campaign-financing-upheld
Former French President Sarkozy’s guilty verdict for illegal campaign financing upheld

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  • An appeals court in Paris has upheld the guilty verdict against former French President Nicolas Sarkozy for illegal campaign financing in his failed 2012 re-election bid.
  • Sarkozy was convicted in September 2021 and sentenced to a year of house arrest, allowed to serve it at home with an electronic monitoring bracelet.
  • The Paris Court of Appeal on Wednesday sentenced Sarkozy to a year in prison, with six months suspended.

An appeals court in Paris on Wednesday upheld a guilty verdict against former French President Nicolas Sarkozy for illegal campaign financing in his failed 2012 reelection bid.

Sarkozy was convicted in a lower court in September 2021 and sentenced to a year of house arrest for illegal campaign financing. The court said Sarkozy would be allowed to serve the one-year sentence at home by wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet.

The Paris Court of Appeal on Wednesday sentenced Sarkozy to a year in prison, of which six months were suspended. The former president’s lawyer said he will appeal to the Court of Cassation, France’s highest court. With the appeal pending, Sarkozy can not be imprisoned in line with French law.

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“Nicolas Sarkozy is completely innocent of charges against him,” said Vincent Desry, the former president’s lawyer after Wednesday’s ruling.

Nicolas Sarkozy

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy attends a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe on Nov. 11, 2023, in Paris. An appeals court in Paris on Feb. 14, 2024 upheld a guilty verdict against Sarkozy for illegal campaign financing in his failed 2012 re-election bid. (Ludovic Marin/Pool via AP)

Sarkozy was France’s president from 2007 to 2012. He has vigorously denied wrongdoing.

He was accused of having spent almost twice the maximum legal amount of $27.5 million on the reelection bid that he lost to Socialist Francois Hollande.

The court stated that Sarkozy “knew” the legal limit was at stake and “voluntarily” failed to supervise additional expenses.

EX-FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY TO WEAR ELECTRONIC BRACELET FOR A YEAR AFTER LOSING CORRUPTION APPEAL

In a separate case in 2021, Sarkozy, 69, was found guilty of corruption and influence peddling. An appeals court last year confirmed the guilty verdict, sentencing him to a year in prison, and two years suspended, in that case. Sarkozy had appealed to the Court of Cassation, which suspended that sentence.

It was the first time in France’s modern history that a former president has been convicted and sentenced to a prison term for actions during his term. Sarkozy’s predecessor, Jacques Chirac, was found guilty in 2011 of misuse of public money during his time as Paris mayor and was given a two-year suspended prison sentence.

Sarkozy retired from active politics in 2017.

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