October 27, 2021

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Verdict expected in ex-French president’s campaign costs trial

Verdict expected in ex-French president’s campaign costs trial

Verdict expected in ex-French president’s campaign costs trial

Thirteen other defendants are facing charges of fraud or aiding and abetting.

Judges  are expected to deliver judgment in the trial of French ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy for allegedly inflating election campaign expenses on Thursday.

The prosecution is pushing for one year prison sentence with six months suspended and a fine.

The defence wants his acquittal.

Sarkozy has denied the charges.

He was accused of illegally financing the ultimately failed campaign for his re-election in 2012.

In France, spending on an election campaign is capped for greater equality between candidates.

The upper limit allowed for campaign spending at the time was 22.5 million euros.

At least 42.8 million euros is said to have been spent by Sarkozy’s team.

To cover up the extra expenditure, expenses are said to have been disguised by a system of fictitious invoices by his then party UMP, since renamed the Republicans.

Thirteen other defendants are facing charges of fraud or aiding and abetting.

The judiciary is also investigating a separate probe into alleged payments by Libya during the 2007 election campaign.

In another scandal, Sarkozy was sentenced in March to three years in prison, two of them suspended, for bribery and undue influence.

He announced at the time that he would appeal. (dpa/NAN)

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