Ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy sentenced to one year in prison for illegal campaign financing

Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy Copyright Associated Press
By Eloise Hardy with Euronews
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The Paris Court of Appeals halved a one-year prison sentence for former president Nicolas Sarkozy over illegal campaign financing on Wednesday, ruling only half the time would be spent behind bars.

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Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been sentenced to one year in prison by the Court of Appeal in Paris, of which 6 months are suspended. 

The suspended part of the sentence means he might serve them by wearing an electronic tag instead of going to prison.

Sarkozy was accused of overspending on his 2012 presidential campaign, and then hiring a PR firm - Bygmalion - to cover it up. He was accused of spending €43 million, almost double the imposed limit of €22.5 million.

Sarkozy has always denied all the allegations against him.

He has previously been served a full one-year sentence in prison but appealed after the court's decision in that instance. The same court halved the ruling.

His lawyer says he will appeal this ruling, too.

In addition to the former president, a number of other suspects who were part of the former head of state's entourage have been sentenced to two years in prison. 

Two Bygmalion executives - Guy Alvès and Franck Attal - have been sentenced to 18 and 12 months in prison respectively.

Sarkozy's lawyer, Vincent Desry, has argued for his acquittal. Desry said the former president was "never aware" that the legal limit had been exceeded and had "never made such expenditures."

The former head of state faces other legal issues. In May last year, he was sentenced to three years in prison on appeal in a wiretapping case. He will also appear in court next year on suspicion of receiving financing from Libya for his 2007 election campaign.

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