Nicolas Sarkozy’s former chief of staff was sentenced to prison for electoral fraud

The former chief of staff of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was sentenced on Friday to a new prison sentence, which extended a long list of convictions that stemmed from the right-wing term 2007-2012.

Claude Gueant, who is considered one of Sarkozy’s closest confidants, was arraigned in October along with four other aides and allies on charges of misusing public money while ordering polls worth a total of € 7.5 million ($ 8.7 million). .

Gueant, who is already in jail for a separate crime, was sentenced on Friday to one year in prison by a court in Paris, with a requirement to serve at least eight months.

The author and once Sarkozy adviser Patrick Buisson was sentenced to a two-year suspended sentence and a fine of 150,000 euros, while former Prime Minister Emmanuelle Mignon received a six-month suspended sentence.

Former meter and consultant Pierre Giacometti was also sentenced and sentenced to six months probation and a fine of 70,000 euros.

They were accused of ordering votes for Sarkozy in secret and without competition, and violated French public funding laws that require transparency and competitive bidding.

Former Sarkozy assistant Julien Vaulpre was the only one of the five accused to be acquitted.

Sarkozy was not directly targeted and had refused to testify as a witness until he was forced to do so by a judge.

In September last year, a separate court sentenced Sarkozy to one year in prison for illegally funding his 2012 re-election proposal, seven months after he was jailed for corruption.

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The 66-year-old, who is appealing both of these convictions, has also been charged with suspicion of receiving millions of euros for his 2007 election campaign from the late Libyan dictator Moamer Gadhafi.

Gueant, 77, was arrested in December after he was found to have failed to pay fines and damages to the state in connection with a previous verdict, handed down in 2017, for running a suspected slush fund.

He immediately announced that he was appealing Friday’s verdict.


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