Claude Guéant, the erstwhile chief of staff to former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, was sentenced to a year in prison by a Paris court on Friday for his part in a long-running corruption scandal.
Guéant, who has also served as French interior minister, was handed a 12-month sentence, four months of which were suspended. He may in fact be able to serve the entire sentence at home wearing an electronic ankle bracelet.
Other advisers to Sarkozy during his term in office from 2007 to 2012 were given suspended sentences and fines of up to 150,000 euros (170,000 dollars) on Friday. One defendant was acquitted.
Sarkozy himself was not in the dock, but did appear as a witness. The former president enjoys immunity from prosecution for the period he was in office. However, Sarkozy remains enmeshed in various other ongoing judicial proceedings.
In 2009, the Court of Audit found irregularities in the way that public polling had been commissioned by the presidential palace.
Contracts for opinion polls were apparently concluded with firms run by two Sarkozy advisers and were not properly put out to tender. Several polling organizations were handed fines of up to 1 million euros for their role in the scandal.