Nicolas Sarkozy was found guilty in a Paris court on Monday, convicted of bribing a judge and influence peddling while he was in office as France’s president. Sarkozy was sentenced to three years in jail with two of those years suspended. Sarkozy is expected to ask to serve his sentence at his home, but that is not a guarantee. The trail concluded in December 2020 in which prosecutors showed that Sarkozy and his lawyer, Thierry Herzog, offered an appeals court magistrate judge Gilbert Azibert a highly desired job in Monaco in exchange for information.
Sarkozy is the second French president to be convicted of corruption. Former French president Jacques Chirac was convinced of corruption in 2011. A semi-related case involving L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt who allegedly made secret payments to Sarkozy during the 2007 presidential campaign was dropped.
Sarkozy is 66 years old and will face more charges and has stated that he “never, never abused my influence, alleged or real” to the court in December. The prosecutors case heavily replies on wiretapped phone calls Sarkozy had with Herzog discussing the bribe on multiple occasions. Sarkozy’s current attorney said those phone calls were just “chats between friends” and have no real world facts.
Other charges Sarkozy is facing include that he took million of Euros from Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2007 during Sarkozy’s presidential campaign and another case in which he is accused of signing a $3.6 million consulting deal with a Russian insurance company.