Paris, Sep 30 (EFE).- Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was given a one-year prison sentence Thursday after he was found guilty of illegally financing his 2012 presidential election campaign.
The court found that the former French head of state, who was in office between 2007 and 2012, benefitted from a double-accounting system put in place in order to exceed spending limits imposed by French law.
Prosecutors said Sarkozy’s campaign spent at least 42.8 million euros — almost double the legal limits of 22.5 million euro — on a series of election rallies in an ultimately unsuccessful campaign against Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande.
The court deemed that Sarkozy could not have been unaware that his campaign was exceeding spending limits given his electoral experience, adding that he had been warned in writing about it on two occasions.
The verdict comes seven months after he was convicted in a separate trial on charges of corruption and influence peddling and sentenced to three years in prison, two of which were suspended, with the other to be served under house arrest.
Sarkozy, who is appealing the conviction, is the first post-war French president to be given a custodial sentence. EFE