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Oct 1, 2021
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Sarkozy: Instead of elections – on trial!

The court sentenced ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy (pictured) to one year in prison (archived photo)

The court sentenced ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy (pictured) to one year in prison (archived photo) (Photo: Zuma / TASS)

The Paris court sentenced the former President of France Nicolas Sarkozy by the year of imprisonment in the case of excess of expenses for the electoral campaign in 2012. Just six months ago, he received three years (of which two were suspended) on corruption charges. Then the court ruled that the former president could serve a year of imprisonment not in prison, but at home if he wears an electronic bracelet.

The new term will also not lead Sarkozy to jail, he will serve him at home under the same obligation to wear an electronic bracelet.

The court found that Sarkozy ignored the warnings of accountants and exceeded the statutory limits on campaign spending, which cost € 42.7 million, which is about twice as much as allowed, while he was aware of the existing legal restrictions, but did not. take any measures to avoid overspending.

Sarkozy himself does not consider himself guilty.

“Can you imagine going to a meeting to discuss the cost of the flags? I had too much to do. From the moment I was told that everything was in order, I had no reason to think about it anymore, ”he explained his lack of involvement in the case at a court hearing in June.

In 2012, Sarkozy tried to run for a second presidential term as a candidate for the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party, but lost François Hollande… His campaign was supported by the PR agency Bygmalion. The prosecution believes that in order to conceal the cost overruns, it issued false invoices for services to the party’s campaign headquarters in the amount of € 10 million, but in reality these services were not provided. During the investigation, the amount of overspending almost doubled.

Together with the former head of state, 13 more people were found guilty, including the former deputy director of the election campaign Sarkozy and the second person in the UMP. Jerome Lavriot – he was sentenced to three years in prison, two of which were in prison. He has previously publicly admitted that he was in charge of the diversion of funds paid by Bygmalion to disguise costs, but claimed to have acted on his own initiative. The investigation failed to prove that the organization of this scheme was directed by Sarkozy.

In March, the former president was sentenced to three years in prison in a so-called wiretapping case. According to the materials of the prosecution, in 2014, through his lawyer, he tried to bribe a judge of the Court of Cassation Gilbert Azibertpromising him a prestigious post in Monaco. In exchange, the former head of state wanted information about an investigation into the illegal financing of his 2007 election campaign. The court considered these actions by Sarkozy to be a trade in influence and corruption.

This case was closed in 2013. According to it, Sarkozy was suspected of receiving more than € 100 thousand in cash from Liliane Bettencourt, the richest woman in the world, daughter of the founder of L’Oreal.

It is worth recalling that against Sarkozy, among other things, the investigation of the financing of his presidential campaign in 2007 by the then Libyan leader continues. Muammar Gaddafi

Considering how he later acted in relation to the head of the Jamahiriya, one could gloat, but one must understand that Sarkozy is not being tried for betraying Gaddafi and the bombing of Libya. However, and not for what he is accused of.

Sarkozy is a charismatic, strong and experienced politician, one of the few today who could compete Emmanuel Macron at the elections next year. Now his party, Republicans, which is obviously one of the most loyal to Russia, will have to look for a new candidate.

And in France, it seems, a new tradition of eliminating unwanted political competitors is emerging. And who knows, this is not the last case against Sarkozy, maybe he will be sent to jail.

– It is unlikely that it will reach the prison, he will be at home in any case, – I am sure Associate Professor of the Department of Foreign Regional Studies and Foreign Policy of the Russian State University for the Humanities Vadim Trukhachev… – The task of the current government is to prevent Sarkozy’s return to politics so that he cannot challenge Macron. The main thing is to keep him away from the opportunity to take the presidency. And cruelty is not necessary at all.

“SP”: For the second term, it is possible that there will be a third. Sarkozy decided to “specifically blame”?

– Yes, they decided to withdraw him from the political game forever. He is a bright enough person capable of rallying dissatisfied Macron. He is very dangerous, because he is the only one who could beat Macron in the second round of the presidential election. And he could lead his party to victory in the parliamentary elections. Le Pen Is too odious for many French people. And Sarkozy will do. His party is potentially the main adversary, acting as a true defender of French interests, but not as radical as Le Pen and her National Union.

“SP”: Is it profitable for Russia to bet on “Republicans”?

– The French right is more nationally oriented than their counterparts in other EU countries. They are lesser Atlantists than Macron. Of course, this is not the most convenient partner – there are critics of Russia in its ranks. But still better than the current president.

“SP”: – Is this a precedent at all? After that, will it become the norm in France to persecute “exes”?

– This “norm” was introduced by Sarkozy when he pursued Chirac… It came back to him like a boomerang. Yes, this is already becoming French national fun.

“SP”: – And again, Gaddafi’s money comes to mind. Will the “dead man’s hand” reach Sarkozy? Obviously you shouldn’t sympathize with him?

– And from the point of view of Gaddafi, this is also retaliation. His murder is largely on the conscience of Sarkozy. But history must be judged from the point of view of our current interests. And here, alas, we have no one more convenient than Sarkozy. France is not yet ready for Le Pen’s arrival at the Elysee Palace.

“You don’t need to build a kind of angel out of Nicolas Sarkozy, a victim of the French regime,” he says. Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation Gevorg Mirzayan… – The former president was regularly suspected of various kinds of fraud, including those for which he was threatened with a term. Suffice it to recall the scandals with the financing of Nicolas Sarkozy’s company by a French madame, and the stories about the Libyan money that he received.

“SP”: – Can this be called a serious precedent? Will France continue to remove those who disagree from the political field now?

– Of course, this is not a precedent. Remember the story of the former head of the IMF Dominic Strauss-Kahn… How he was removed from the election race because of the invented scandal with the maid. But here, too, note that this scandal did not arise out of nowhere. Dominique Strauss-Kahn was regularly seen in the past in inappropriate behavior towards women. So the conspirators only exploited his weakness. How they are now using the weakness of Nicolas Sarkozy.

“SP”: – Will squeezing out of Sarkozy’s policy in the life of France change anything? Or Sarkozy has long been no one to call him?

– No, it won’t change anything. Well, or change quite a bit. After all, Mr. Sarkozy is a former president, and far from the most popular politician in France. Yes, the right-wing camp needs a single candidate in order to “knock off” Macron. But for Nicolas Sarkozy there is too serious a train of misconduct, as well as reputational “jambs”. Not all right-wing forces are ready to recognize him as a single candidate.

“SP”: – And his party? Does she represent strength and can her representative challenge Macron?

– It’s not about parties, but about personalities. Still, France needs bright politicians. And much will depend on who will lead this party and who will lead it to the elections. Or where will the former members of this party enter if it dissolves.

“SP”: – Are “Republicans” still interesting for Russia? At one time they were ready to bet on them … But now? Who should you bet on now? Le Pen is clearly impassable …

– You don’t need to bet on anyone, you need to work with whoever is. We do not have such luxury as the Americans, and we cannot bring certain politicians in European countries to power through information resources. We just work with those who are. Of course, right-wing politicians are more attractive to us than left-wing politicians. Perhaps we should wait until the right-wing camp in France is reorganized.

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