Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was sentenced to one year in prison for illegally funding his reelection campaign.
Along with 13 other people, Sarkozy has been accused of having participated in the “Bygmalion” scandal, in which the former French president and his UMP party spent almost 22.5 million euros ($26.3 million) on rallies and events for his reelection campaign in 2012. After splurging nearly double France’s allowed spending limit for political parties, the party then tried to hide their spending by hiring a PR company called Bygmalion to send the invoices to the party and not to Sarkozy’s campaign.
The French court ruled on Thursday that though Sarkozy might not have been immediately involved in the illegal spending, he must’ve ignored warnings from accounts and known spending was exceeding the legal limits of his campaign, according to Bloomberg.
Sarkozy, who served as France’s president from 2007 to 2012, lost his reelection bid to former President Francois Hollande, who served from 2012 until 2017.
This will be the second time the former president has been sentenced to serve a one-year prison sentence. In March, Sarkozy was found guilty of corruption and trying to bribe a judge in 2014. He was sentenced to one year in prison with a two-year suspended sentence.
Ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy gets jail sentence over campaign funding https://t.co/XXsMOJiD2o— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) September 30, 2021
As with the former president’s previous sentence in March, Sarkozy has been allowed to serve his time from home while wearing an electronic bracelet.
Sarkozy, who filed an appeal of his sentence from March, is expected to appeal his most recent sentence as well.
Separately, Sarkozy was previously detained by police after being accused of accepting millions of euros from the late-Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi in order to finance his 2007 election campaign.