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Sarkozy's conviction for campaign financing in the appeals process

Sarkozy's conviction for campaign financing in the appeals process

As of: February 14, 2024 at 4:20 p.m

Former French President Sarkozy has appealed the ruling against him on charges of illegal financing of his election campaign. Now he has been sentenced again. Even if the sentence was more lenient, Sarkozy filed an appeal.

In the case surrounding increased campaign costs in 2012, the Paris Court of Appeal sentenced former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to a year in prison – six months suspended. According to the court, the 69-year-old does not have to go to prison. The exact conversion of prison sentences should be determined at a later date.

The sentence was somewhat lighter than it had been the first time. More than two years ago, Sarkozy was sentenced to a year in prison without parole.

According to his lawyer, Sarkozy wants to appeal the ruling. Sarkozy did not commit any funds and was not aware that the cost cap had been exceeded. The defense had requested acquittal at trial.

The overspending is said to have been covered up

The case concerns the 2012 presidential elections. Sarkozy's team was able to double the costs of the electoral campaign: according to the judge presiding over the court, by no less than 20 million euros.

In order to cover this up, the expenses were said to have been concealed using a system of fake invoices by his conservative party, the UMP – now the Republicans. According to the court's assessment, Sarkozy ignored important information at the time. He rejected these allegations.

The case became known as the Pygmalion case, named after the events agency that organized Sarkozy's campaign events.

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The former president is repeatedly in the crosshairs of the judiciary

Sarkozy assumed the presidency of France from 2007 to 2012. Despite spending 43 million euros in 2012, the current president lost the elections to his rival, François Hollande. Sarkozy has also been fighting the French judicial system for years over other matters.

Stephanie Markert, ARD Paris, Tagesschau, February 14, 2024, 4:45 p.m.