The former head of State, is returned to the criminal court for having exceeded the authorized ceiling on election expenses.
The examining magistrate Serge Tournaire has ordered the referral to trial of Nicolas Sarkozy and thirteen other participants in the inquiry on its campaign spending during the 2012 presidential election and fake invoices of the company Bygmalion, said, Tuesday, 7 February, a justice source.
The former head of the State has been returned to trial for illegal funding of the election campaign, the judge reproaching him for having exceeded knowingly the ceiling of the election expenses, then set at € 22.5 million.
After Jacques Chirac, who was sentenced in 2011 to two-year suspended prison sentence in the case of ‘ghost’ employees of the city of Paris, this is the second time that a former head of State, is returned to trial under the Ve Republic.
The investigation, opened in 2014, has focused on a vast system of false invoices, aimed to conceal the exceeding of the maximum authorized expenditures.
System of false invoices
in Addition to Nicolas Sarkozy, the judge ordered the referral to trial of thirteen other characters, for offences forgery or use of forgery, breach of trust or concealment, fraud, or complicity, aiding and abetting the illegal funding of the campaign. Among them, former executives, ex-UMP, as Eric Cesari, officials of the presidential campaign, as its director Guillaume Lambert or Jérôme Lavrilleux, and the officials of the communications company Bygmalion, which the subsidiary Event and Co-organized the meetings of the campaign sarkozyste.
All are suspected of having participated in the establishment of a system of false invoices charged to the UMP about 15 million euros of expenses of meetings that should have been included in the campaign budget of the candidate.
Jerome Lavrilleux and several frames of Bygmalion had revealed this fraud. The other protagonists have denied their involvement in the acts.
Nicolas Sarkozy is not involved to have had knowledge of this fraud with fake invoices. But he is suspected of having committed additional expenditure in seeking new meetings, so that he could not ignore that his budget was going to cross the red line. The applicant had been the recipient of scores of experts-accountants alerting them about this risk. The former president has always objected to an increase in its expenses.
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