PARIS – Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was declared on Wednesday an “assisted witness” by the public prosecutor of Paris after testifying for several hours regarding on the funding and account of his 2012 presidential campaign.
An “assisted witness” is a legal designation in French law referring a witness against whom there is no formal investigation, but who may eventually be implicated by evidence to have participated in the offense.
The French judiciary is investigating the payment of a Constructional Court penalty imposed on Sarkozy for overspending in his 2012 presidential campaign.
The prosecution said in a statement that it was not the candidate but his party, Union for a Popular Movement, or UMP, paid the fine, which last October led to an investigation for misappropriation of funds and complicity.
The UMP paid the 363,615 euros ($391,977) imposed on Sarkozy as “penalty for exceeding election expenses,” said the prosecutor.
The prosecutor mentioned that the president of the UMP, Jean-Francois Cope, and the former National Treasurer, Catherine Vautrin, are also among the accused.
Sarkozy arrived at the Paris Court early Wednesday morning for questioning, which had been scheduled for a previous date but was delayed.