Corrupt ex-President of France Nicolas Sarkozy has been sentenced to one year of detention for using Dodgy cash to fund his campaign for re-election.
The 66-year-old was found guilty today for tampering with the books during his unsuccessful 2012 bid to become head of state.
Although sentenced to one year in prison, Judge Caroline Viguer said Sarkozy would be able to serve his sentence at home with an electronic bracelet.
Sarkozy is believed to be staying for 12 months in the luxurious Paris apartment of his third wife, Carla.
The former supermodel owns a £2.5 million home in Villa Montmorency – an exclusive 19th-century building in the French capital.
The verdict was delivered to the 66-year-old at the Paris Correctional Court today after a five-week trial.
Despite the gravity of his legal position, Sarkozy did not appear in court today, leaving his legal team to represent him as he did throughout the process.
Prosecutors Vanessa Perry and Nicolas Bassetto severely criticized the snub, accusing him of “undermining the values of democracy”.
Sarkozy was in the courtroom with 13 associates after a PR company allegedly used them to hide financial corruption, in what became known as the “Bigmelian” case.
Former associates found guilty along with him included Jerome Lavreilleux and Guillaume Lambert.
In 2012, Jerome Lavreilleux, deputy director of Sarkozy’s campaign, was sentenced to three years in prison, one of which was suspended.
He was convicted of breach of trust and aiding and abetting illegal campaign financing.
Eric Cesari, director general of the UMP at the time of the campaign, was sentenced to three years in prison, one of which was suspended, and Fabien Liadze, director of resources at the party, was sentenced to three years in prison. 18 months suspension.
Former UMP communications director Pierre Chasat was sentenced to three years in prison, including a two-year suspension.
He was accused of spending nearly double the legal €22.5m (£19.4m) limit for the presidential campaign against François Hollande of the French Socialist Party.
The other three defendants, who were associated with PR agency Bygmalion, admitted to submitting fake receipts.
Sarkozy, a right-wing conservative whose party was called the UMP (Union for a Popular Movement), denied any wrongdoing.
The court heard that officials close to Sarkozy came up with the idea of setting up fake “conventions” that would appear on false challans.
According to prosecutors, accountants warned Sarkozy that the campaign was set to exceed the €22.5m spending limit, but insisted on holding more events.
The campaign eventually cost around €43m – the equivalent of £37m – but Sarkozy still lost to Mr Holland.
In March, Sarkozy was convicted of corruption and influence and sentenced to three years in prison, two of which were suspended.
Sarkozy is also facing allegations that he received money laundering worth millions from the late Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
Sarkozy’s conservative predecessor as president of France, the late Jacques Chirac, received a two-year suspended sentence in 2011 for corruption, but it relates to his time as mayor of Paris.
The last French head of state to be jailed was Marshal Philippe Pétain, a Nazi ally at the time of the war.
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