Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was convicted of corruption and sentenced to three years in prison on Monday after a court in Paris convicted him of attempting to illegally influence a judge during his tenure. ..
Sarkozy is unlikely to be physically put in jail, as the ruling includes a two-year suspension.
He will almost certainly appeal and remain free without an arrest warrant issued.
The verdict is the latest twist in the turbulent political career of 66, who ruled France from 2007 to 2012, and continues to be a favorite of many on the right.
The conviction, which is likely to undermine his denial of ambitions to return to front-line politics, has been promoted by many supporters prior to the 2022 presidential election.
Sarkozy’s political leader, Jacques Chirac, had to attend a 2011 corruption trial because of his poor health, although only one other French president was tried after his resignation.
Sirac was sentenced to a two-year suspended sentence for creating ghost jobs at the Paris City Hall to fund the party during his time as mayor.
Monday’s ruling is related to cases of bargaining bargaining and corruption and is one of at least four separate investigations of former leaders who married former supermodel and singer Carla Bruni during her tenure.
Sarkozy was accused of offering to help the judge get a senior position in Monaco in exchange for pressure to investigate his election funds.
The former president told the court during the trial that he had “never committed any minor corruption.”
The prosecutor demanded him four years’ imprisonment and at least two imprisonment, and sought the same punishment from his co-defendant Thierry Elzok and judge Gilbert Azibert.
At the end of the trial, prosecutor Jean-Luc Brachon said, “If the former president and lawyers had in mind the size, responsibilities and obligations of his office, the case would not have happened.” Said. December.
In several proceedings against him, the charges of grafting and selection of influence impose a sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of € 1 million ($ 1.2 million).
Prosecutors tried to bribe Judge Ajibert for investigating Sarkozy and Herzog’s allegations that former leaders were illegally paid by L’Oréal’s heir Liliane Bettencourt, who succeeded in the 2007 presidential election. It states.
The state case was based on eavesdropping on a conversation between Herzog and Sarkozy, and prosecutors accused him of “using a secret phone line” to cover up his attempt to infiltrate the courtroom. ..
Prosecutor Celine Gillett said it was “certainly” established that Judge Ajibert had sent confidential information about the Bettencourt case to his friend Herzog.
She said one conversation was “overwhelmingly” showing that Sarkozy had promised to intervene to have Sarkozy post to Monaco.
Sarkozy’s lawyer, Jacqueline Rufffont, denounced the prosecutor’s accusations for flaws and “emptiness,” and the defense also claimed that the tapped conversation was just a “chat between friends.”
Ajibert, then a senior adviser to the French Supreme Court of Appeals, never got a job in Monaco.
Sarkozy’s lawyer claimed that it pointed out that there was no corruption, but prosecutors said French law did not distinguish between successful and unsuccessful attempts at corruption.
Sarkozy eventually eliminated Bettencourt’s misconduct, but still faces other legal issues.
On March 17, he will face a second trial over accusations of fraudulent overspending in a failed 2012 re-election bid.
He was also charged with receiving millions of euros from Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi in the 2007 campaign.
And in January, prosecutors launched another investigation into Sarkozy’s alleged influence over advisory work in Russia.
Sarkozy’s long-standing legal hardship has helped sink his bid to return to the 2017 presidential election, but has been on the rise since he announced his retirement from politics in 2018.
Last summer, a line of fans lined up to sign his latest memoir, The Time of Storms. This has surpassed the best-selling list for several weeks.
French Ex-president Sarkozy Convicted For Corruption Source link French Ex-president Sarkozy Convicted For Corruption