Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy said at his trial on charges of illegally financing his failed 2012 election campaign that he did not commit any illegal actions.
This is reported by Reuters.
Sarkozy said he was not involved in the logistics of his campaign during the run for a second presidential term, nor in the way, money was spent during the run-up to the election.
“I intended to commit fraud, to act unlawfully? Was I careless? Careless? My answer to all this is the most formal: “No.” From the moment I was told that everything was fine, I had no reason to think about it anymore, “ Sarkozy said in court.
Sarkozy, 66, told the judges that he was responsible for the political direction of his campaign, but not for organizing rallies, making campaign materials, and paying bills.
The trial of the former president began in March, but on the first day, it was decided to postpone the hearing due to the fact that Sarkozy’s lawyer fell ill with coronavirus. The hearing resumed in May.
Prosecutors allege that Sarkozy’s Conservative party almost doubled the 22.5 million euros allowed by the election law by spending that amount on campaign rallies and then hired a friendly public relations agency to hide the expenses.
In their indictment, prosecutors acknowledged that their investigation failed to prove that Sarkozy organized or was involved in the scheme, but say he probably knew about it.
Earlier this year, Sarkozy was sentenced to one year in prison and a two-year suspended sentence for corruption. He appealed the verdict.