WORLD / EUROPE
French ex-president Sarkozy handed jail term for corruption, derails political future
Published: Mar 02, 2021 04:58 PM
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy (middle) arrives at the Paris court house to hear the final verdict on Monday. Photo: AFP

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy (middle) arrives at the Paris court house to hear the final verdict on Monday. Photo: AFP

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was found guilty of corruption on Monday and handed a three-year prison sentence, in a ruling that deals a major blow to any lingering political ambitions.

The jail sentence includes two years suspended and the remaining year can be served at home with an electronic bracelet, meaning Sarkozy will not end up behind bars over this case.

The judge found the 66-year-old had formed a "corruption pact" with his former lawyer and friend Thierry Herzog in order to convince a judge, Gilbert Azibert, to obtain and share information about a legal investigation. 

"The facts for which Nicolas Sarkozy is guilty are particularly serious having been committed by a former president who was the guarantor of the independence of the judiciary," the judgement read.

Sarkozy, a one-term president from 2007-12, announced an appeal several hours after the verdict, with his lawyer calling the findings "extremely severe" and "totally unfounded and unjustified."

The conviction of the corruption trial sets a new low-point in the tumultuous political career of the right-winger who remains a dominant political figure in France, admired by fans for his tough talk on crime and immigration.

It is also likely to undermine any attempted comeback to frontline politics - an ambition he has denied, but which has been promoted by many supporters ahead of 2022's presidential election.

Wearing a dark suit and tie, Sarkozy showed no emotion as the sentence was read out and he left court without commenting to waiting journalists.

AFP
blog comments powered by Disqus