Former French President Sarkozy sentenced to one year in prison for illegal campaign financing

A French court Thursday convicted former president Nicolas Sarkozy of illegal campaign financing over massive overspending on his 2012 re-election campaign, and sentenced him to one year in prison, France 24 reports.

The verdict came six months after Sarkozy was found guilty of corruption in a separate trial.

Sarkozy, who spent nearly twice the legal limit on his failed bid for a second term in office, wasn’t present at the Paris court for the announcement of the verdict.

A series of lavish US-style election rallies caused his costs to spiral, with the final bill coming to at least 42.8 million euros $49.7 million), nearly double the legal limit of 22.5 million euros.

The case is known as the Bygmalion affair, after the name of the public relations firm that set up a system of fake invoices to mask the real cost of the events.

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