Thursday, 30 September 2021
Nicolas Sarkozy, the ex-President of France, was found guilty of illegal campaign financing during his 2012 presidential campaign and was given a one year closed prison sentence on Thursday.
The decision concludes the Bygmalion scandal, in which Sarkozy’s political campaign was found to have put in place a system of false bills and expenditure costs in order to conceal €20.2 million excess campaign spending. This brought the total cost of the campaign to at least €42.8 million – almost double the legal limit at the time.
Also involved in the trial were 13 others accused of complicity in illegal campaign financing, Belga News Agency reported. Two prison sentences of two years and one of three years were handed down.
“It was not his first campaign,” the magistrate said. “He had experience as a candidate.”
In March, Sarkozy became the first ex-President of the Fifth Republic to receive a closed prison sentence for corruption and abuse of power. This followed the “Bismuth scandal”, in which the ex-President and his lawyer were found guilty of attempting to bribe a magistrate in order to access information about lawsuits against him.
Sarkozy is not actually expected to serve his sentence in a prison, but will be placed under house arrest.
The Brussels Times