Nicholas Sarkozy convicted of illegal campaign financing

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Nicolas Sarkozy

Lionel Bonaventure | AFP | Getty Images

On Thursday, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was found guilty of illegal campaign funding by a Paris court after losing his re-election campaign in 2012.

This is the second time that Sarkozy has been convicted this year. He led France from 2007 to 2012. Although he fell out of favor due to legal issues, he still retained his influence among conservatives.

The court has not said what sentence he will be sentenced. Prosecutors are seeking a one-year sentence for the 66-year-old former president, half of which is suspended. In any case, he is unlikely to go to jail immediately because he is expected to appeal the sentence.

The prosecutor said that his Conservative Party spent almost twice the 22.5 million euros allowed by the electoral law (currently $19.2 million) on extravagant campaign gatherings, and then hired a friendly public relations agency to conceal the expenses.

Sarkozy denied wrongdoing. He told the court in June that he was not involved in the logistics of running for re-election, nor was he involved in the expenditure of funds during the campaign.

But the court stated that Sarkozy was told that he was overspending, he did not take action, and he did not need to approve every expenditure to be responsible.

Sarkozy was found guilty in another trial in March. He tried to bribe judges and peddle influence to obtain confidential information about judicial investigations. He also denied any wrongdoing in this situation.

The former president was sentenced to three years in prison in that trial-two of them were suspended-but he has not actually been in jail for a while, and his appeal is pending.

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