Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, 66, has been found guilty by a Paris court of illegal campaign spending.
He was sentenced to one-year jail term although the putative ex-president is unlikely to be sent to prison.
Instead, the judge said the former president could serve his term at home provided an electronic tag was attached to his leg to monitor his whereabouts.
The case related to Sarkozy’s 2012 failed presidential bid in which he spent twice the legal amount ($26 million) and still lost to Francois Hollande.
True, $52 million is nothing compared to money spent on US presidential campaigns that runs into billions of dollars but France is not the US.
It is virtually a third world country where poverty stalks many communities.
Sarkozy was president from 2007 to 2012 during which time his anti-Muslim venom oozed out of every pore of his body.
France is one of the most Islamophobic countries in Europe, largely due to Sarkozy's cynical policies and hatred for Muslims.
During the 2012 presidential campaign that he lost, Sarkozy suggested France’s real problem is “we have too many foreigners”. Commenting on such political opportunism, Time magazine wrote: "Sarkozy’s Hungarian immigrant father has been warned," alluding to his Hungarian origins.
"If all that sounds like the conservative Sarkozy imitating National Front leader Marine Le Pen, that’s because it is—at least in the view of political analysts, pundits, and foreign observers. Many of those commentators interpret the president’s renewed embrace of positions dear to the extreme-right as a cynical yet desperate effort to recruit new backers to his uphill re-election bid. But while that strategy may have been vital to Sarkozy’s 2007 win, there are signs his 2012 re-do is failing to turn the rather grim re-election outlook around."
At Sarkozy’s trial in May and June, the prosecution told the court he had a “cavalier” attitude to the public money available to candidates during campaigning.
They also said he ignored repeated warnings from his accountants about the ballooning costs.
The presiding judge concluded it was “clear that Sarkozy must have known that his campaign team were spending over the legal limit.”
Like crooks everywhere, especially political crooks, Sarkozy pleaded ignorance of what was going on claiming he was busy with more weighty matters.
Obviously, without his presence, the sky would fall and the world would have ended.
In June, he told the court, “Can you imagine me going into a [campaign] meeting to discuss the cost of flags?”
He claimed he had “too much to do” to worry about such mundane matters.
Over-spending in election was not his only crime.
Last March Sarkozy was found guilty of corruption and influence peddling in another case.
In his corruption case, he was given a year in prison, and a two-year suspended prison sentence.
He still struts about as a free man because he has launched an appeal against the conviction.
Most observers see the verdicts as ending his political career.
Few people would miss this petulant man who actively promoted Islamophobia making it mainstream in France, and now in many other European countries.