Ex-French President Gets Jail Sentence Over Campaign Funding

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been sentenced to a year in prison over illegal campaign funding in 2012. 

Sarkozy, 66, was found guilty for spending tens of millions of euros more on his unsuccessful re-election campaign than was permitted by law. 

While the Paris court found him guilty and sentenced him to a year in jail, the court ruled he could serve his sentence at home under house arrest with an electronic bracelet. 

Sarkozy denies wrongdoing, and an appeal is expected. 

The former president was accused alongside 13 other defendants over their role in the scandal, labeled the “Bygmalion” scandal, after the name of the PR firm his party hired to try and hide the lavish cost of his campaign. Sarkozy’s UMP party spent nearly double the 22.5 million euro cap. 

The court ruled that while Sarkozy may not have known the full details of the fraud conducted, he must have known that limits were breached, and failed to act. 

This is the latest legal challenge following Sarkozy, who lost his re-election campaign to Francos Hollande in 2012 after five years as president.

Earlier in 2021, he was handed a suspended prison sentence for attempts to bribe a judge in 2014. That custodial sentence included a three-year jail term, two of which were suspended, for corruption and influence. 

This latest sentencing marks an unprecedented situation, making him the former French president to have two custodial sentences. His lawyers deny wrongdoing in both cases.

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