Election funding trial: Sarkozy loses his cool as he seeks to clear his name


The former French president Nicolas Sarkozy appeared in court for the first time yesterday, June 15th, for the trial in which he and 13 others face charges over the massive overspend during his failed presidential election campaign in 2012. The ex-head of state conceded some responsibility in the way his campaign was conducted. But, showing clear signs of irritation, Nicolas Sarkozy strongly denied that he had committed any financial irregularities himself. And instead he pointed the finger at supporters of Jean-François Copé, who at the time was head of Sarkozy's political party the UMP.  Mediapart's legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan was in court in Paris to hear the former president give evidence.

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Passionate, speaking loudly, and gesticulating in the witness box, Nicolas Sarkozy was in combative mood when he was cross-examined at the 11th criminal court in Paris on Tuesday June 15th 2021. It was the fourth week of evidence in the trial concerning the colossal overspend uncovered in his 2012 presidential election campaign but it was the first time that the former French president and defendant - he is charged with “illegal funding of an election campaign” - had been in court.