The Nanterre Criminal Court on Tuesday sentenced former minister Claude Guéant to 18 months’ imprisonment, 12 of which were suspended on probation for having deliberately reduced the costs of his 2012 legislative campaign. imprisonment (six months), the court requested accommodation in the form of house arrest under electronic monitoring. Claude Guéant, who was absent during the deliberation, was also fined 30,000 euros.
Guéant “does not agree with this conviction”
His lawyer, Me Philippe Bouchez El Ghozi, immediately appealed the judgment. “Claude Guéant has the feeling of not having been heard by justice” during his trial in October, he reacted to AFP. “We do not yet know the motivations” of the judgment, “obviously, Claude Guéant does not agree with this conviction”, continued his lawyer, assuring that there had been “no fraud in the accounts the country”.
The essential man of the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy, now 77 years old, was in 2012 candidate for deputy in Hauts-de-Seine. The prosecution accused him of having knowingly reduced his campaign accounts and thus obtained a reimbursement of more than 30,000 euros.
Claude Guéant was also sentenced to a ban on practicing any commercial or industrial profession for a period of five years. He must also pay 30,529 euros “for the undue reimbursement of his campaign costs” to the legal agent of the State, a civil party, asked the president.
This letter which is at the heart of the case
A four-page letter to voters is at the heart of this case. In this letter of January 3, 2012, Pierre-Christophe Baguet, UMP mayor (now LR) of Boulogne-Billancourt and outgoing deputy of Hauts-de-Seine, announced that he would support Claude Guéant to succeed him in the National Assembly. He had attached the declaration of candidacy of the latter. The two defendants contesting having sought to have this mail financed by the city of Boulogne-Billancourt.
Pierre-Christophe Baguet was sentenced on Tuesday to eight months’ imprisonment with a simple suspended sentence and a fine of 3,750 euros. “The conviction and the severity of the sentence are incomprehensible,” reacted to AFP his lawyer, Me Mario Stasi. “We have thought about appealing, as this is a case where there is no embezzlement of public funds, nor personal enrichment, nor prejudice to the city”.