French ex-president Sarkozy 'to face trial'

BBC | Published: 15:56, Feb 07,2017

 
 

Nicolas Sarkozy, former French president and candidate for the French conservative presidential primary, reacts after partial results in the first round of the French center-right presidential primary election at his campaign headquarters in Paris, France, November 20, 2016.-- Reuters photo

French ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy is to stand trial in an illegal campaign finance case, judicial sources say.

Sarkozy faces accusations that his party falsified accounts in order to hide 18m euros of campaign spending in 2012.

Sarkozy has repeatedly denied that he was aware of the overspending.

He lost the 2012 race to Francois Hollande, and failed in his bid to run again in this year's upcoming presidential election.

The case is known as the Bygmalion scandal.

It centres on claims that Sarkozy's party, then known as the UMP, connived with a friendly PR company to hide the true cost of his 2012 presidential election campaign.

France sets limits on campaign spending, and it is alleged the firm Bygmalion invoiced Sarkozy's party rather than the campaign, allowing the UMP to exceed the limit.

Employees at Bygmalion have admitted knowledge of the ruse and several UMP members already face charges.

This trial is expected to focus on whether Sarkozy himself was aware of the alleged fraud.

 

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