By Grace Udofia
Former French President, Nicholas Sarkozy was on Thursday sentenced to one year in prison over illegal management of campaign funds in 2012.
Sarkozy who sought re-election in 2012, was accused of illegal campaign financing during the build up to the 2012 elections in France.
He will go down in history as the first French Head of State in modern times to receive two jail terms, even though it appears that he may likely not serve his sentence behind bars.
The judge clearly stated that he could serve the sentence by wearing an electronic bracelet at home, while all 13 co-defendants have been found guilty.
The Judge said, “Nicolas Sarkozy knew the spending limit”. “He knew he shouldn’t exceed it,” he added.
Reacting outside the courtroom, Sarkozy’s Lawyer, Thierry Herzog told French media that he would be launching an appeal.
Recall that in March 2014, during a criminal investigation into the case, it was discovered that Sarkozy’s campaign spent more than $54 million during the campaign by using fake invoices, way above the limit of $24 million set by French electoral laws.
The former President fought a lengthy legal battle trying to prevent the trial from happening but his appeal was rejected in late 2018 and the trial opened on May 20, 2021 despitehaving been delayed for two months due to a key defendant’s lawyer being hospitalized for Covid-19.