Sarkozy to face trial over 2012 campaign financing: legal source

A year after he was first placed under formal investigation it has now been confirmed that Sarkozy will answer charges known as the Bygmalion scandal.

In 2013, Sarkozy was accused of exceeding spending limits by almost 23 million euros (24.52 million USA dollars) for his failed election campaign five years ago, 2.1 percent more than is allowed under French law.

During the 2012 campaign, when opinion polls showed that support for Mr Sarkozy was failing, he turned his campaign rallies into US-style extravaganzas with special effects and multiple giant screens.

France has a limit of €22.5m on campaign spending, but prosecutors say that more than double that amount was spent on Sarkozy's lavish campaign. Herzog said a year ago he considered the campaign overspending issue settled because his client already paid a penalty.


Thirteen others, who were main figures in Sarkozy's 2012 campaign, are also to face trial for alleged "breach of trust or concealment", and "fraud and complicity in illegal campaign financing". "The clear disagreement between the two magistrates in charge of the matter is such a rare event that it is worth underlining, as it illustrates the inanity of the decision", said Sarkozy's lawyer, Thierry Herzog, according to BBC.

Fillon is now embroiled in his own scandal, after it emerged that he had employed family members in lucrative fake jobs with public funds.

Sarkozy's conservative predecessor Jacques Chirac was convicted in 2011, after his retirement, of misusing public funds to keep political allies in phantom jobs.


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