The appeal trial over the excessive spending of Nicolas Sarkozy's lost 2012 presidential campaign ended Thursday in Paris, and the decision was reserved until February 14. In this trial, the Public Prosecutor's Office requested a one-year suspended prison sentence against the former head of state, who had been sentenced at first instance to one year in prison for exceeding the legal limit on his campaign spending.
Nine other people had been retried alongside him since 8 November by the Paris Court of Appeal. When called to the stand, none of the defendants wished to make a statement at the end of the trial. But unlike these co-defendants, the former head of state is not accused of the system of false invoices devised to hide the explosion of his campaign expenses, which reached nearly 43 million euros while the legal ceiling was 22.5 million.
Sarkozy denounces 'fables' and 'lies'
But, in its judgment, the court had stressed that the former tenant of the Elysée Palace had "continued the organization of meetings" for elections, "asking for one meeting per day", even though he "had been warned in writing" of the risk of legal exceedance, then of the actual exceedance. Before the Court of Appeal, Nicolas Sarkozy, as in the first trial, "vigorously contested any criminal responsibility", denouncing "fables" and "lies".
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His lawyer, Vincent Desry, pleaded for his acquittal on Friday. According to him, if Nicolas Sarkozy "was not informed of the fraud, he could not have been informed of the exceedance".