Campaign finance trial opens for French ex-president Sarkozy

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy

What you need to know:

  • The case is one of several to have dogged Sarkozy since he left office and which have torpedoed hopes among his allies that he could muster a comeback and challenge Emmanuel Macron for the presidency next year.
  • Bygmalion executives have acknowledged a system of fake invoices to pass the bills to Sarkozy's UMP party, since renamed Les Republicains, including the deputy manager of the campaign, Jerome Lavrilleux.

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy goes on trial Thursday over claims of illicit financing for his failed 2012 re-election campaign, just weeks after the rightwing heavyweight was convicted in a landmark corruption trial.
Sarkozy, 66, became France's first postwar president to be sentenced to prison when judges gave him a three-year term in March for corruption and influence peddling, though under sentencing rules he will not spend any time behind bars.

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