French court upholds sentence against Sarkozy for corruption

The former president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, will not have to go to prison, since he will be able to serve his sentence under house arrest and with an electronic bracelet

A French court has ratified this Wednesday the sentence to three years in prison against former President Nicolas Sarkozy in the framework of a case of corruption and influence peddling in a wiretapping plot, after the president appealed the sentence in December.

The Paris Court of Appeals has indicated that two of the three years of the sentence are suspended, while the former president will not have to go to prison, since the other year of the final sentence can be served under house arrest and with an electronic bracelet, as collected by FranceInfo. Sarkozy will also see his civil rights suspended during these three years, so he will not be able to run for elected office.

Likewise, his lawyer Thierry Herzog and former magistrate Gilbert Azibert have also been sentenced to three years in prison, while Herzog will be prohibited from practicing his profession during this period. “Herzog and Sarkozy are lawyers, and Azibert is a specialist in criminal proceedings. None of the three can claim to be unaware of the offenses committed,” said the president of the court, Sophie Clement.

Sarzoky was sentenced in March 2021 for crimes of corruption and influence peddling after the French Justice considered it proven that he used his position to try to obtain information about an investigation. The Prosecutor’s Office accused the former president of obtaining secret information through Herzog in 2014, for which he would have turned to Azibert, then in the Court of Cassation.

Sarkozy’s lawyer, Jacqueline Laffont, has already announced that they will continue “until the end of the judicial path”, which will translate into a new appeal before Cassation and a new term that will last around one year. “Nicolas Sarkozy is innocent of the charges against him,” he said, according to BFMTV.

The former president, who governed France between 2007 and 2012, became the first former head of state to physically sit on the defendant’s bench, since although in 2011 his predecessor at the Élysée, Jacques Chirac, was sentenced to two years for crimes committed during his time as mayor of Paris, he never set foot in court for health reasons.

Source: dpa

(Reference image source: Tingey Injury Law Firm, Unsplash)

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