A one-year prison sentence including a six-month suspended sentence and a € 3,750 fine were requested Thursday against Nicolas Sarkozy, tried before the Paris Criminal Court for the excessive spending of his 2012 presidential campaign.
At the end of a two-part indictment, prosecutors underlined the “Total casually” of the former head of state in managing the finances of a campaign « en or massif », which cost almost double the allowable cap. Nicolas Sarkozy, absent at the hearing, has been on trial since May 20 alongside 13 other defendants.
“Nicolas Sarkozy visibly does not regret anything since he only came to one audience”, argued prosecutor Vanessa Perrée in denouncing “Total casualness” of the former president. “This behavior of not considering oneself as a litigant like another, as a citizen among citizens, is in keeping with what it was during this presidential campaign, being outside the fray”, she continued sharply.
“This casualness vis-à-vis (the other defendants) and the court is a reflection of the casualness in his campaign”, she insisted.
In March, Nicolas Sarkozy had become the first ex-president of the Ve Republic to be sentenced to imprisonment (three years, one of which is closed), for corruption and influence peddling in the so-called “wiretapping” affair.
Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign was marked by a “Improvisation and a total lack of preparation” said Vanessa Perrée during her indictment.
From 18 months to 4 years in prison for co-convicts
The Paris Criminal Court requested an eighteen-month to four-year suspended prison sentence against the 13 co-convicts
Prosecutors asked for a three-year suspended prison sentence and a € 50,000 fine for the former deputy campaign director, Jérôme Lavrilleux, the only one to have recognized the fraud. Against the three former executives of Bygmalion who admitted to having accepted the establishment of the system of false invoices, eighteen months of suspended prison were required.
The heaviest sentence (4 years probation) was required against Eric Cesari, former director general of the UMP, and Guillaume Lambert, who was the director of the campaign in 2012.
Revealed two years after the defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy, the scandal had led to serial explosions on the right.
The investigation revealed that the real price of the 44 meetings organized by the event agency Bygmalion had been drastically reduced – 80% of the invoices have disappeared – and the rest paid by the UMP in the name of fictitious conventions of the party.
“No runaway” of the campaign according to Nicolas Sarkozy
Investigation “Did not establish” that Nicolas Sarkozy would have it “Ordered”, that there would be “Participated”, or even that he would have been informed, according to the prosecution. On the other hand, it has some “Unquestionably” benefited, thus having “Means far superior to those authorized by law”. The legal ceiling was exceeded by 22 million euros.
A thesis vigorously contested by the Head of State during his four hours of questioning.
There was no “No runaway” of the countryside, which looked like ” like a sister “ to that of 2007, or even that of his opponent in the second round, François Hollande, hammered Nicolas Sarkozy at the helm. How then could the 2012 campaign have “Cost double”, he chanted. “Unbelievable! “
The former boss of the UMP Jean-François Cope, heard as a simple witness in the trial, castigated Thursday on France Inter the “Untenable defense strategy” of Nicolas Sarkozy and his inability to “Assume” his actions.