An old affair catches up with Nicolas Sarkozy. The inordinate spending on his 2012 reelection campaign was reportedly obscured. After a break, another round is underway in Paris.
Paris (AP) – The trial of ex-head of state of France Nicolas Sarkozy, which was interrupted about two months ago, continues today in Paris. The 66-year-old is accused of illegally funding the 2012 reelection campaign.
The Conservative, who ruled the Élysée Palace from 2007 to 2012, faces a one-year imprisonment and a fine of EUR 3,750. He had denied the allegations. There are 13 other defendants.
The trial was adjourned in mid-March because a defendant’s lawyer fell ill. Sarkozy did not appear in court at the start.
The former president had only been sentenced to three years in prison at the beginning of March, two of which had been suspended, for another affair involving bribery and illicit influence. No president of the «Fifth Republic» of France, founded in 1958, has been so severely punished. Sarkozy had announced that he would appeal. The former hopes of the bourgeois right have turned their back on politics, but in the background it is pulling the strings and is seen as influential.
The remaining 13 defendants in the reelection campaign are held accountable for fraud or complicity. Sarkozy’s former UMP party, now rebranded as Republican, would not have taken campaign costs into account as such. For this there should have been a system of fictitious invoices.
At that time, the permitted upper limit for expenditure was EUR 22.5 million. In fact, as much as EUR 42.8 million would have been spent. The background to this is the “Bygmalion Affair” around a communications agency bearing this name.
According to the media, Sarkozy is not accused of creating the system of fictitious invoices – but he is said to have ignored two warnings from accountants. The Conservative lost to his socialist challenger François Hollande in the 2012 presidential campaign.
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