Nicolas Sarkozy received a one-year suspended prison term on November 30 for excessive spending during his failed presidential campaign in 2012, AFP reported
This is one of the most crucial events in the former French president's packed court schedule.
The prosecutor claims that Nicolas Sarkozy knowingly exceeded the legal limit for electoral expenses. "There was nothing inevitable about this extravagance," prosecutor Bruno Revel explained. "It was the result of a choice made by the candidate."
The prosecutor requested a one-year prison sentence, six months of which were suspended, and the former head of state was finally sentenced to one year in prison in September 2021, though the criminal court requested that this sentence be corrected directly to house arrest with electronic monitoring.
The prosecutor requested sentences ranging from 18 months to four years in prison, all suspended, for the other nine defendants being retried in the so-called "Bigmalion" case, named after the company that organised the right-wing candidate's campaign meetings, as well as fines ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 euros for some of them.
Unlike his co-defendants, the former president has not been charged with using a system of fake invoices to increase his campaign spending to nearly 43 million euros, when the legal limit was 22.5 million euros.
However, the court emphasised in its first-instance decision that the former president "continued to organise campaign meetings, asking for one meeting per day, despite being warned in writing about the risk of exceeding the legal limit, and then for the actual overrun."
As he did during the first trial, Nicolas Sarkozy "vehemently denied any criminal responsibility," blasting "fables" and "lies."
He disputes that his campaign has become "out of hand."
Nicolas Sarkozy is facing new legal troubles after being sentenced to three years in prison, including a year in prison, in a wiretapping case in May, a judgement he challenged to France's Supreme Court.
He will stand in court in 2025 on allegations of receiving Libyan funding for his presidential campaign in 2007. He was also charged in early October in connection with the retraction of remarks made by mediator Ziad Takeddine. /BGNES