Sarkozy sentenced by French justice in a campaign financing affair | World

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By SYLVIE CORBET and NICOLAS VAUX-MONTAGNY Associated Press

PARIS (AP) – Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was found guilty on Thursday and sentenced to one year of house arrest for illegal campaign financing of his unsuccessful 2012 re-election candidacy, will appeal the decision , said his lawyer.

The court said Sarkozy would be allowed to serve the one-year sentence at home wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet.

Sarkozy’s lawyer, Thierry Herzog, noted that the sentence corresponds to the maximum his client was faced with. He said he spoke with Sarkozy, who asked him to appeal.

“The verdict will not be binding” pending the appeal, he added.

Sarkozy, French president from 2007 to 2012, vigorously denied wrongdoing during the trial in May and June.

Sarkozy was not present at the Paris court for the judgment. He is accused of having spent nearly double the maximum legal amount of 22.5 million euros ($ 27.5 million) for the re-election candidacy he lost to socialist Francois Hollande.

The court said Sarkozy “knew” that the legal limit was in play and “willfully” failed to oversee the additional spending.

Thursday’s verdict comes after Sarkozy, 66, was convicted on March 1 of bribery and influence peddling in another case. He was sentenced to one year in prison, and two years suspended, in this case, but is free pending appeal.


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