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Prosecutors said the former president's UMP party splurged nearly double the €22.5m (£19.4m) cap on lavish campaign rallies and events, then tried to hide the costs by hiring a PR firm called Bygmalion to invoice the party, not the campaign.
On Thursday, the court in Paris ruled that though the former president may not have known the full details of the fraud, he must have seen that limits were breached and did nothing about it.
Sarkozy, 66, is however allowed to request that his prison term — of which two years are suspended — be served at home with an electronic bracelet.
He is the first former French leader to be handed out a prison sentence that includes time with no remission. His predecessor at the Elysée Palace, Jacques Chirac, had been handed a two-year suspended jail term after being found guilty of corruption while Paris Mayor.
while conducting his affairs , eating cheese and watching TV ... I guess.