Court has On Thursday, September 30, sentenced former President Nicolas Sarkozy to one year in prison for “illegal campaign financing” in the case of his 2012 presidential campaign’s excessive spending.
According to the court, the sentence will be directly converted into an electronic bracelet. His lawyer immediately stated that he would be appealing the decision.
According to the ruling, the former president “continued the organization of meetings” after being “warned in writing of the risk of exceeding” the legal ceiling. “It was not his first campaign; he had campaign experience,” the magistrate continued.
The prosecution had sought a year in prison for Nicolas Sarkozy, with six months suspended. He has always denied benefiting from the fraud, having means far exceeding those permitted by law – at least 42.8 million in total, nearly double the legal limit at the time.
Unlike his 13 co-defendants (former executives of the campaign and the UMP – now LR – as well as the Bygmalion company, which organized the meetings), Nicolas Sarkozy was not held responsible for the alleged double-billing system used to conceal an increase in authorized campaign spending. They were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 2 to 3.5 years.
Jérôme Lavrilleux, chief of staff to Jean-François Copé, the leader of the UMP, and deputy director of Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign, was sentenced to three years in prison, including two years behind bars. His sentence will be modified as well. In addition, he receives a 3-year ineligibility sentence.
The court ruling makes Nicolas Sarkozy the Fifth Republic’s first former president to be sentenced to prison – three years, one of which was suspended – for corruption and influence-peddling in the so-called “des listening” case in March. He filed an appeal against the ruling.