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Factbox-France's Sarkozy faces more than one legal battle

PARIS (Reuters) - French former president Nicolas Sarkozy lost his appeal against a 2021 conviction for corruption and influence peddling at the Paris Court of Appeals on Wednesday, a decision his legal team said he would challenge.

Known in France as the "wiretapping affair", the courts found that Sarkozy had conspired to secure a plum job in Monaco for a judge in return for inside information about an inquiry into allegations he had accepted illegal payments from L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for his 2007 campaign.

Below are other legal challenges that Sarkozy faces:

'BYGMALION AFFAIR'

Sarkozy was convicted in September, 2021, of illegal campaign financing over his failed 2012 re-election bid and was handed a one-year prison sentence.

He appealed the conviction, a move which in effect suspends the sentence. Even if the ruling is upheld, Sarkozy is unlikely to go to jail after a judge said he could serve the sentence at home with an electronic tag.

Known as the "Bygmalion affair", the case centres on accusations that his party, then known as the UMP, worked with a public relations firm to hide the true cost of his re-election bid.

France sets strict limits on campaign spending. Prosecutors allege that the firm, Bygmalion, invoiced UMP rather than the campaign. They say Sarkozy spent 42.8 million euros on his 2012 campaign, almost double the permitted amount.

LIBYAN CAMPAIGN CASH

Sarkozy should stand trial on charges of corruption and illegal financing of an election campaign related to alleged Libyan funding of his successful 2007 presidential bid, France's financial prosecutor (PNF) has said.

Prosecutors have investigated allegations that former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi sent Sarkozy’s election campaign millions of euros in cash, allegations that were first made by one of the sons of the late autocrat.

Sarkozy has always denied the accusations.

“There’s not even the smallest inkling of proof,” he said in an interview in 2018.

One of his main accusers, Franco-Lebanese businessman Ziad Takieddine, who has described himself as a “middleman in the shadows”, withdrew his account in 2020.

RUSSIA

Financial prosecutors in early 2021 opened a preliminary investigation into alleged influence-peddling related to activities undertaken by Sarkozy in Russia seven years after he left office.

(Compiled by Richard Lough; Editing by Bernadette Baum)