Carla Bruni posts smouldering picture welcoming back Nicolas Sarkozy

House arrest might not be so bad Nicolas! Carla Bruni posts smouldering picture welcoming back France’s ex-president Sarkozy after he is sentenced to a year at home for illegal campaign financing

  • Nicolas Sarkozy has been found guilty of illegal campaign financing in France 
  • Court found he spent almost double allotted £19.5million on his reelection bid
  • He has been sentenced to a year in jail, which judge said he can serve at home 
  • Comes six months after he was found guilty of trying to bribe a judge

Nicolas Sarkozy’s wife has posted a smouldering picture welcoming the former French president into their home after he was sentenced to a year of house arrest.

Supermodel Carla Bruni, 53, shared a photograph to Instagram showing her embracing her husband in her arms alongside a lengthy swathe of text written by Sarkozy in French to thank his supporters.  

Sarkozy was handed a 12-month sentence by a judge after being found guilty of illegal campaign financing in the 2012 election.

The judge at Paris’s Correctional Court said the 66-year-old, who held office from 2007 to 2012, could serve his term from home – where he will have to wear an ankle bracelet.

Prosecutors had been asking for at least six months of actual jail time for Sarkozy, along with a six-month suspended sentence. His legal team have filed an appeal, which effectively suspends the sentence until their case is heard.  

Supermodel Carla Bruni, 53, shared a photograph to Instagram showing her embracing Sarkozy in her arms inside their home alongside a lengthy swathe of text in French

Nicolas Sarkozy, who was French President from 2007 until 2012, has been sentenced to one year in jail which he can serve at home with an ankle bracelet over campaign finance violations


Bruni was photographed on the catwalk at Paris Fashion Week on Wednesday night, seemingly unfazed by the impending verdict. 

Bruni posted a message from her husband to Instagram which translated to English as: ‘I thank you from the bottom of my heart all those who have stood by me to demonstrate their friendship at the moment when I have been condemned for having exceeded the limit of my campaign accounts during the 2012 presidential election. 

‘Your constant, faithful, courageous support gives me the confidence to pursue this fight if necessary for truth and justice. I ask simply that the same rights are applied for me as would be for any other litigant. 

‘Yet this has been once again scorned by the ignorance of the decisions of the constitutional council. We can’t be punished twice for the same deeds. It’s the reason for which I have filed an appeal so that the court rules. 

‘I will keep going with this quest which exceeds my personal case because everyone could one day find themselves faced with injustice. It’s the certainty of justice which gives me the energy to overcome the challenges and resist empty attempts at humiliation. 

Bruni posted a message from her husband to Instagram which translated to English as: ‘I thank you from the bottom of my heart all those who have stood by me’

‘I will be happy to see you this Saturday in Paris, at 11am at the Lamartine library. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Nicolas Sarkozy.’

Bruni was photographed on the catwalk at Paris Fashion Week on Wednesday night, seemingly unfazed by the impending verdict.

Thursday’s sentence comes six months after Sarkozy was handed another one-year jail term with two years suspended for trying to bribe a judge.

At the time, Bruni called the verdict ‘senseless harassment’ while vowing to fight on so ‘truth will see the light’. 

Sarkozy’s legal team have also lodged an appeal in that case, meaning he remains a free man for the time being. 

His legal woes are set to continue, however, with more corruption cases pending including allegations that he received millions in laundered money from former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. 

Bruni, Sarkozy’s wife, who has staunchly defended him against corruption allegations in the past, is pictured  laughing with Naomi Campbell during Paris Fashion Week last night

It is unlikely that Sarkozy will ever see the inside of a jail cell, but Bruni has alleged that was never the point of the allegations and believes her husband’s political opponents wanted to disqualify him from taking another run at the presidency. 

‘They’re all lies, incredible lies. I’m so surprised it lasted,’ she told The Times in an interview earlier this year.

‘I’m so surprised it became so political, but they achieved their goal because he’s out of politics for ever.’

In the campaign financing case, Sarkozy had been accused of spending almost double the £19.5million allotted for reelection campaigns under French law, during the 2012 reelection bid he lost to Francois Hollande.

Prosecutors say Sarkozy was warned close to election day that his campaign had almost reached the spending limit, but that he continued organising large rallies.

The campaign eventually spent nearly £37million, but could not prevent Sarkozy from losing the race.  

Sarkozy’s allies were then accused of working with a PR company called Bygmalion to cover up the spending.

The court heard how Sarkozy officials came up with the idea of setting up bogus ‘conventions’ that would appear on false invoices as part of the cover-up.  

Sarkozy was not in court and was instead represented by lawyer Thierry Herzog (pictured), with the judge reprimanding him for ‘undermining democracy’ by not showing up

During the hearing, Sarkozy’s legal team told the court that the extra money did not go into his campaign, but instead helped make other people richer.

They denied any ‘fraudulent intent’ while insisting that Sarkozy did not handle any day-to-day organisation and could therefore not be blamed. 

Prosecutors admitted that Sarkozy was not directly involved in the cover-up, but said must have known his campaign over-spent and ‘voluntarily’ turned a blind eye to it.

Lawyers also argued that, as head of the campaign, he must bear ultimate responsibility for how it was run and financed.

The scandal has become known in France as the ‘Bygmalion case’, after the PR firm involved in it.

Sarkozy refused to attend court today and left his legal team to represent him, just as he has done throughout the process.

Jerome Lavrilleux, deputy director of Sarkozy’s 2012 election campaign, faces journalists as he leaves court after hearing the verdict on Thursday

The snub led to severe criticism, with prosecutors Vanessa Perrée and Nicolas Baïetto accusing him of ‘undermining the values of democracy’. 

Sarkozy was in the dock with 13 associates including members of his conservative Republicans party, accountants and heads of the Bygmalion group.

Former colleagues found guilty alongside him included Jerome Lavrilleux and Guillaume Lambert. 

Three of the defendants, who were connected to the PR agency Bygmalion, admitted producing fake receipts.

Others are facing charges including forgery, breach of trust, fraud and complicity in illegal campaign financing, and have pleaded not guilty.

Sarkozy, a right-wing conservative whose party was called the UMP (Union for a Popular Movement), had denied any wrongdoing. 

In March, Sarkozy was convicted of corruption and influence peddling and sentenced to three years in prison, two of them suspended.

If still found guilty on appeal, he is likely to be able to serve his sentence at the home he shares with his third wife, the former supermodel Bruni, while wearing an electronic tag.

Sarkozy is also facing allegations that he received millions in laundered money from the late Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Sarkozy’s conservative predecessor as President of France, the late Jacques Chirac, received a two-year suspended sentence in 2011 for corruption, but this related to his time as Mayor of Paris.

The last French head of state to go to a prison cell was Marshall Philippe Pétain, the wartime Nazi collaborator.

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