Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was found guilty of illegal campaign financing by a Paris court over his failed 2012 re-election bid. His conservative party, the prosecutors said, spent nearly double the $19.2 million allowed under electoral law on extravagant campaign rallies and then hired a friendly public relations agency to hide the cost. It was the second guilty verdict this year for Sarkozy, who led France from 2007 to 2012 and retains influence among conservatives despite falling from grace over his legal woes. Prosecutors are seeking a 1-year prison sentence for the 66-year old former president, who denies the offense. Sarkozy was found guilty in a separate trial in March of trying to bribe a judge and peddle influence in order to obtain confidential information on a judicial inquiry. He also denied any wrongdoing in that case.

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