France ex-president Sarkozy to stand trial for campaign financing violations

France ex-president Sarkozy to stand trial for campaign financing violations

France ex-president Sarkozy to stand trial for campaign financing violations

A magistrate has ordered former French president Nicolas Sarkozy to stand trial over irregularities in the funding of his failed 2012 re-election bid, a judicial source said on Tuesday.

Sarkozy's camp say it will appeal the decision.

Sarkozy has always been embroiled in the investigation into alleged overspending on the presidential bid, which he lost to Socialist Francois Hollande after serving one term.

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.

The rumors claim that the ex-president's party conspired with a PR company in order to cover up the real costs of the presidential election campaign.

Prosecutors allege Sarkozy ignored warnings he would break campaign spending limits and spent €20 million ($21.42 million) over the €22.51 million ceiling.

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Lawyer Herzog highlighted the fact that only one of the two magistrates in charge of the case signed the trial order.

Sarkozy has repeatedly denied the accusations being aware of the alleged fraud. Herzog said a year ago he considered the campaign overspending issue settled because his client already paid a penalty.

Over a dozen more people are expected to face trial.

After retiring from politics following that defeat, he returned to take the helm of the Republicans and sought the nomination to run for president in this year's two-stage election in April and May.

Jacques Chirac was handed a suspended prison sentence by a Paris court in 2011 for diverting public funds and abusing public confidence.

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