NIn the “Bygmalion” case, Sarkozy was sentenced, in 2021, to one year in prison for having exceeded the legal maximum limit for campaign expenses, the maximum penalty provided for by law at the time.
The former president immediately appealed, denouncing the sentence as “unfair”.
The former head of state, who appeared relaxed before the opening of the appeal hearing, is expected to testify on November 23.
Unlike his co-accused, Nicolas Sarkozy, 68, is not suspected of producing false invoices, designed to hide the explosion of his campaign expenses (almost 43 million euros, when the legal limit is 22.5 million).
Twelve of those formerly responsible for the electoral campaign of the UMP — now Les Républicains — and the company Bygmalion will be tried again in Paris.
The 12 are accused of being complicit in “illegal campaign financing”, forgery, fraud, abuse of trust and complicity in these crimes.
The court initially justified the penalties imposed due to the “extremely high amounts” and because the acts were committed by “competent professionals”.
The court considered that the former occupant of the Élysée Palace “continued to organize electoral meetings”, “requesting one meeting per day”, despite “having been warned in writing” about the risk of excessive expenses.
Nicolas Sarkozy’s defense argued that exceeding the legal limit had already been sanctioned by the Constitutional Council, which rejected his campaign accounts in 2013 and could therefore not be tried again.
The former head of state was also criticized by the Public Ministry for his absence at the trial.
Sarkozy only appeared on the day he was questioned, which was seen as the defendant considering himself “above others”.
In 2025, Nikolas Sarkozy will go to court on corruption charges related to suspected Libyan financing of his previous presidential campaign, the successful one in 2007.
Sarkozy appealed his sentence to three years in prison, one of which was not suspended, in a case of corruption by a high-ranking magistrate.
At the beginning of October he was also charged in a section of the Libyan case linked to the retraction of the French-Lebanese intermediary Ziad Takieddine.
Read Also: Former president Nicolas Sarkozy faces new fraud accusations
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