Sarkozy loses appeal in illegal campaign financing case
PARIS (AP) — In another judicial setback, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy lost an appeal Thursday against an earlier legal decision and could stand trial on charges of illegally financing his 2012 presidential campaign.
A Paris appeals court confirmed a decision last year ordering Sarkozy to face a trial over alleged fraud during his failed 2012 re-election bid.
Sarkozy’s lawyer, Thierry Herzog, said his client will appeal the ruling to the Court of Cassation, France’s highest court.
The 63-year-old Sarkozy is facing allegations that his presidential campaign spent well above the legal ceiling of 22.5 million euros ($24 million) and tried to cover it up fraudulently. The claims center on whether the conservative leader was aware of alleged false billing and fraud linked to PR company Bygmalion, some of whose executives have admitted false accounting practices.
Sarkozy has faced multiple corruption investigations since leaving office in 2012.
He failed to win his party’s primary for the 2017 presidential election and has largely stayed out of politics since then. In March, Sarkozy was ordered to stand trial on charges of corruption and influence peddling in a separate case and was also handed preliminary charges over accusations that he took millions in illegal campaign financing from then-Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.