Total
0
Shares
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers a speech during a political meeting on April 22, 2015, in Nice, France. Source: AFP via Getty Images.
Market Herald logo

Subscribe

Be the first with the news that moves the market
  • A Paris court has found former French President Nicolas Sarkozy guilty of corruption, sentencing him to three years in prison
  • He was accused of attempting to bribe a judge after leaving office and using his influence to gain confidential information about an investigation into his campaign finances
  • There are also allegations that the late Colonel Gaddafi provided Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign with millions of euros shipped to Paris in suitcases
  • Two years of Sarkozy’s sentence were suspended, and he could spend the remaining year out of prison with an electronic bracelet
  • His lawyers have said he will appeal the ruling in an effort to prove his innocence

A Paris court has found former French President Nicolas Sarkozy guilty of corruption, sentencing him to three years in prison.

Sarkozy, 66, is accused of attempting to bribe a judge after leaving office and using his influence to gain confidential information about an investigation into his campaign finances.

The court found that he had offered to secure a plum job in Monaco for a judge, Gilbert Azibert, in exchange for inside information related to allegations that he had accepted illegal payments from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt during his 2007 presidential campaign.

However, Sarkozy may not actually spend any time in prison. Two years of his sentence were suspended, and presiding judge Christine Mee said she was open to him staying out of jail for the remaining year with an electronic bracelet, although that decision will be up to another judge.

“He took advantage of his status and the relationships he had formed,” Mee said.

Sarkozy is the second head of state in modern-day France to be convicted of corruption, after serving as president from 2007 to 2012. Even after retiring, he retains a strong influence within prominent conservative circles.

Sarkozy left the court without speaking, but his lawyer said he would appeal and prove his innocence.

“This ruling is extremely severe and wholly unjustified,” Jacqueline Laffont told reporters.

Investigators had also been wiretapping conversations between Sarkozy and his lawyer Thierry Herzog from 2013, as they delved into allegations that the late Colonel Gaddafi provided Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign with millions of euros shipped to Paris in suitcases.

They discovered that Sarkozy and his lawyer were communicating using mobile phones registered under false names, but Sarkozy said he was the victim of a witch-hunt by financial prosecutors who had used excessive means to snoop on him.

Herzog and Azibert, who were on trial alongside Sarkozy, were also found guilty of corruption and influence-peddling.

“Such behaviour can only seriously undermine the legitimate trust that the public must have in the justice system,” Mee continued.

More From The Market Herald

" More than 100 global leaders pledge to end deforestation by 2030

At the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow on Monday, more than 100 global leaders pledged to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation

" China and US pledge to tackle climate change in joint statement

The United States and China, the world’s two major carbon dioxide polluters, announced a commitment to increase cooperation in combating climate change, particularly

" Robinhood says details of 7 million users exposed in major security breach

Trading platform Robinhood Markets said on Monday a third party had gained access to the personal details of roughly seven million users but

" Obama urges COP26 to help developing nations, scolds China and Russia over climate inaction

On Monday, Former US President Barack Obama called on rich nations to end a years-long stalemate with developing countries over cash for climate