Prosecutor demands suspended sentence for French ex-president Sarkozy

AFP - [email protected]
Prosecutor demands suspended sentence for French ex-president Sarkozy
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. (Photo by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP)

France's former president Nicolas Sarkozy should be handed a suspended one-year prison sentence for illegal campaign financing, a prosecutor has told an appeals court.


The lead prosecutor's sentence recommendation is a more lenient term than his original conviction.

Sarkozy has faced a litany of legal problems since his sole term in office from 2007 until 2012 and has been charged separately with corruption, bribery, influence-peddling as well as breaking campaign financing laws.

In the so-called "Bygmalion affair", Sarkozy was sentenced to one year in prison in September 2021 on charges that his right-wing party, then known as the UMP, worked with a public relations firm to hide the true cost of his 2012 re-election bid.

"Vigorously" denying any wrongdoing, Sarkozy appealed against the sentence which the court at the time said should take the shape of electronically controlled house arrest.

In his closing statement at the appeal trial, prosecutor Bruno Revel said that he still considered Sarkozy guilty of "knowingly breaching the legal campaign spending limit", but not of having created, or been aware of, the illegal methods of hiding it.

Revel said the ex-president should be handed a suspended sentence of one year.


Sarkozy spent nearly €43million on his 2012 campaign, almost double the permitted amount of €22.5million, according to the accusation.

In October, Sarkozy was charged in a separate witness tampering case relating to alleged Libyan financing of his 2007 presidential win.

Despite his legal woes, Sarkozy remains a hugely influential figure on the French right, courted by politicians and writing books that are major publishing events.

Sarkozy's lawyers were due to deliver their closing statement in the appeal on Friday.


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