France :Former President Nicolas Sarkozy sentenced to jail for corruption

France :Former President Nicolas Sarkozy sentenced to jail for  corruption

French Ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy was convicted  on corruption charges for a three-years prison sentence on Monday at the court of Paris.

Sarkozy plans to appeal three-year jail sentence as he was found guilty  of trying to bribe  Judge Gilbert Azibert, with a prestigious job in Monaco,   for confidential information on an inquiry into claims that former leader had received illicit payments from L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt during his successful 2007 presidential campaign.

According to Sarkozy's  lawyer Jacqueline Laffont, the former president is “calm but determined to continue to prove his innocence …We will appeal, he is presumed innocent. We don’t doubt the appeal court will overturn the sentence.” She said.

Jacqueline Laffont added that,  the verdict is extremely severe , totally unfounded and unjustified.

However, the court said Sarkozy would be entitled to request to be detained at home with an electronic bracelet. The same sentence was handed down to his co-defendants, lawyer Thierry Herzog and judge Gilbert Azibert.

The corruption allegations against the ex-president case was based on wiretaps of conversations between Herzog and Sarkozy, with prosecutors accusing him of “using secret telephone lines” to cover up his attempt to infiltrate the court.

The recordings showed Sarkozy and Herzog had discussed contacting Gilbert Azibert, a magistrate at the Court of Cassation, France’s court of last resort for criminal cases, to try to gain information about a separate investigation into whether the ex-president had received donations from L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

Prosecutors said Sarkozy and his lawyer discussed offering a prestigious post in Monaco to Azibert in return for information about the Bettencourt case, which was eventually dropped.

Sarkozy, who led the country from 2007 to 2012, have already been involved in several corruption trials.

By Fabiola Kemegni

Author’s Posts