PARIS, France: Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been sentenced to one year of house arrest for illegally funding his failed 2012 reelection campaign.
Prosecutors documented how Sarkozy and 13 others, along with his UMP party, spent almost $26.3 million, twice the legal limit, on rallies and events for his reelection campaign in 2012. The party later attempted to hide the spending by hiring a public relations company to send the invoices to the party, and not to Sarkozy’s campaign.
In its ruling, the French court said that Sarkozy might not have been personally involved in the illegal spending, but he must have ignored warnings from accounts and known that campaign spending was exceeding the country’s legal spending limits.
Sarkozy lost his reelection bid to former President Francois Hollande, who served from 2012 until 2017.
This is the second conviction for Sarkozy, who was found guilty of corruption and trying to bribe a judge in 2014.
At that time, he was sentenced to one year in prison with a two-year suspended sentence.
Sarkozy is expected to appeal his most recent sentence.