Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was sentenced to prison in 2021 for corruption. The judge will rule on Wednesday on the appeal he filed. It preceded it.
Sarkozy was convicted of bribing a judge and abusing his power. He was sentenced to three years in prison, one of which was suspended. The judge decided that he should serve his sentence under house arrest. Additionally, he would receive an anklet.
The former president allegedly bribed Judge Gilbert Azibert with his lawyer Thierry Herzog. It happened when he was president, from 2007 to 2012. Prosecutors said the two men wanted to bribe the judge in exchange for information about an investigation into payments Sarkozy received during his 2007 presidential campaign.
Judge Azibert was offered a job in Monaco by Sarkozy in exchange for information. In the end, Azibert himself was also convicted.
Sarkozy was arrested because he was wiretapped by prosecutors. His phone, among other things, was tapped. The former president made phone calls under the pseudonym of Paul Bismuth.
In one of these conversations, he mentioned a vacancy in Monaco, while asking a judge for information. It was bribery, judges and prosecutors ruled. He would possibly also have received the information from Azibert.
According to the judge, Sarkozy concluded a “corruption pact” with his lawyer and Azibert. Herzog and Azibert were also sentenced, in particular for violation of their professional secrecy. They appealed with Sarkozy.
It wasn’t just that belief. Sarkozy was also convicted of illegal fundraising practices during his election campaign in 2012. The Paris court ruled that later in 2021.
This case revolved around the so-called Bygmalion case. Sarkozy was elected president in 2007, and his campaign team and associates spent the first few months of 2012 throwing money at him for re-election. In the end, 20 million euros more would have been spent on the election campaign than what was legally allowed. Sarkozy was also sentenced to one year of house arrest in this case.
Sarkozy is the first former French president to be prosecuted for corruption during his presidency. But he is not the only former president convicted of corruption.
Sarkozy’s predecessor, Jacques Chirac (1932-2019), has already received a suspended prison sentence after his presidency. But that was because of cheating when he was mayor of Paris before.
The verdict in the Sarkozy case will follow on Wednesday around 9 am. Then it will become clear whether the prison sentence, which is not really a prison sentence, will be removed. Sarkozy has always maintained his innocence.
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