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Ex-French President Sarkozy gets one year for illegal campaign financing in 2012 — report

Earlier in March, he was already sentenced to three years in prison - two of which were suspended - over an illegal wiretapping case

PARIS, September 30. /TASS/. A Paris court found French ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy guilty of illegally funding his 2012 electoral campaign and sentenced him to one year in prison, the BFM channel reported Thursday, adding that the former president would serve out his sentence at home by wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet. The prosecution demanded a sentence of one year with six months to be spent in prison.

Earlier in March, Sarkozy was already sentenced to three years in prison - two of which were suspended - over an illegal wiretapping case. Thus, Sarkozy became the first French president to be sentenced to a prison term. He was found guilty of corruption and influence peddling.

The last case included 13 defendants besides the ex-president. The investigators accused Sarkozy’s associates in The Republicans party as well as the Bygmalion communications agency of falsifying spending bills during the electoral campaign. According to the prosecution, this was done in order to hide the violation of the spending limit set for electoral campaigns.

Under French law, a presidential candidate cannot exceed the campaign cost limit of 22.5 million euro. However, Sarkozy’s campaign cost over 18 million more than that. The investigation believes that the total expenditures amounted to at least 42.8 million euro.

Sarkozy himself denies all charges, saying he was not aware of the spending, because his aides managed it. However, the court ruled that Sarkozy "intentionally did not control the spending," while "he was aware of the spending amount."

Sarkozy was not present during the announcement of the verdict. He was only present in the court once to testify. Prosecutor Vanessa Perree was furious, claiming that Sarkozy displayed "disrespect to the court, comparable to his unceremonious behavior during the electoral campaign."

"Clearly, Sarkozy has no remorse about anything," the prosecutor said.