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01st Mar 2021

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy sentenced to jail

Simon Lloyd

Sarkozy has been found guilty of corruption and influence peddling

Former president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, has been sentenced to three years in prison, with two of them suspended, for corruption and influence peddling.

Sarkozy was found guilty of attempting to bribe a magistrate with a job in exchange for information regarding a separate case brought against him.

While he becomes the first former French president to receive a custodial sentence, it appears unlikely the 66-year-old will spend any of it in prison.

The judge at the ruling, which took place in Paris, said Sarkozy was instead permitted to serve his time at home with an electronic tag.

The judge said Sarkozy “knew what he was doing was wrong”, adding that his and his lawyer’s action had presented “a very bad image of justice” to the wider public.

The case revolved around conversations which took place between his lawyer, Theirry Herzog, and the magistrate, Gilbert Azibert, which were recorded by police seven years ago.

Police investigators had been looking at claims Sarkozy has accepted illegal payments from Liliane Bettencourt, the L’Oreal heiress, during his presidential campaign in 2007.

Prosecutors had pushed for a four-year sentence for him with two years suspended. The magistrate and Sarkozy’s lawyer both received similar sentences.

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