30 September (WNN) — Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was convicted on Thursday for violating campaign finance laws during his unsuccessful bid for re-election nearly a decade ago and sentenced to one year in prison – his second time this year. has been found guilty of the offence.
A French court determined that during his campaign in 2012, Sarkozy broke campaign finance laws by exceeding a hard limit on political spending.
Under French law, candidates of the time could only spend so much on their campaigns. Prosecutors said Sarkozy spent almost twice the legal limit.
He was also accused of hiring a public relations firm to hide the exact amount of his expenses.
Soon after his conviction and sentencing on Thursday, Sarkozy’s lawyer said he would appeal.
Most experts say it is unlikely that Sarkozy will spend his time in prison. He may be allowed to complete his term under house arrest.
Sarkozy has denied that he was involved in the logistics and financing of his campaign, saying those tasks were delegated to other members of his team.
However, the judge in the case rejected this argument.
According to CNN, “Nicholas Sarkozy knew the spending limit,” he said. “He knew he didn’t have to be more than that.”
Sarkozy was convicted of the crime and sentenced to prison for the second time this year on Thursday.
In March, the former French leader was found guilty of trying to bribe a judge to hand over confidential information in a legal investigation and sentenced to three years in prison, with two years suspended. He also denied wrongdoing in the matter.
Sarkozy is the only French president in history to have been convicted twice for one crime, and there may be more. French prosecutors are probing allegations that former Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi illegally helped finance Sarkozy’s successful presidential campaign in 2007.