“A system designed and implemented in the exclusive interest of the candidate” Nicolas Sarkozy, says the prosecution

Requisitions of the public prosecutor at the Bygmalion trial before the Paris Court of Appeal, November 30, 2023.

On the dock, a slight relief greeted the requisitions pronounced, Thursday, November 30, by the attorneys general Bruno Revel and Serge Roques, in the so-called “Bygmalion” trial before the Paris Court of Appeal. The representatives of the public prosecutor’s office were in fact less severe than their first instance counterparts, by not requesting any prison sentence. A one-year suspended sentence was requested against Nicolas Sarkozy – sentenced to the maximum sentence of one year in September 2021 – for exceeding the spending limit of his presidential campaign in 2012.

Against the nine other defendants who had appealed their conviction for fraud or complicity, breach of trust or concealment, forgery, use or concealment of forgery and complicity in exceeding the ceiling on electoral expenses, the required penalties range from ten- eight months to four years suspended imprisonment, accompanied by a fine of 10,000 to 30,000 euros. These requisitions do not, however, foreshadow the decision of the three judges of appeal, as was the case in first instance, where the sanctions imposed had systematically exceeded the quantum requested by the prosecution.

On the merits of the case, namely the establishment of a system which made it possible to hide the explosion in campaign expenses, the two attorneys general however share the conclusions of the judgment rendered by the criminal court. “The ceiling has been exceeded. This excess was accepted. This overrun was concealed”, summarized Bruno Revel. “We do not maintain that from the start, there was a desire to free ourselves from the operating rules. But at some point, the decision was made to throw them out. » Rules, he recalled, whose principles are “ transparency, limitation of expenses for equality between candidates” And ” trust. »

“The master of the campaign is the candidate”

These 22 million in excessive spending, double the authorized ceiling, are the result of ” flight forward “, the accusation of which makes the former President of the Republic, candidate for re-election, primarily responsible: “The master of the campaign is the candidate.” It is him who “imposes on his team” to increase the number of meetings, even though two notes, in March and April 2012, alerted him to the risk, then to the exceeding of the spending ceiling. “After reading these notes, good faith can no longer be invoked”, noted Bruno Revel. “This titanic struggle of the presidential election, [Nicolas Sarkozy] wants to win it. So what does this miserable budgetary constraint weigh in the balance? »

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