Europe

Prosecutors Seek Jail Term for Sarkozy Over Alleged Runaway Campaign Spending During Reelection Bid

In March, Nicolas Sarkozy became the first former French president to receive a custodial sentence after a Paris court handed him a three-year term, two years of which were suspended, for corruption and influence peddling over attempts to secure favors from a judge.

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s legal woes continue, as prosecutors have called for a six-month jail term over campaign finance violations during his 2012 reelection bid.

At the end of proceedings in Paris on Thursday, prosecutors demanded a one-year jail term for the former head of state, with six months of it suspended, and a fine of 3,750 euros ($4,500), reported AFP.

“Nicolas Sarkozy clearly regrets nothing because he came to just one hearing,” said prosecutor Vanessa Perree, adding:

“This way of thinking of himself as being above the law, of not being a citizen among others, is the same as it was during the presidential campaign.”

‘Cooking the Books’

The criminal trial for Sarkozy and 13 other defendants in what has been dubbed the “Bygmalion scandal” started on 20 May 2021.

The trial hinges on accusations that Sarkozy’s party, then known as The Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) and later renamed and succeeded by The Republicans, collaborated with a friendly public relations firm to hide the true cost of his re-election bid, which he lost to Socialist rival Francois Hollande.

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