France: Court upholds Nicolas Sarkozy corruption conviction

The former French president has lost his bid to overturn corruption charges leveled against him in 2021.

A Paris court on Wednesday denied an appeal by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to overturn his corruption conviction.

The court upheld a ban on him serving in public office and a suspended prison sentence, but ruled he must wear an electronic tag instead of going to jail.

What was Sarkozy’s conviction?
Sarkozy was convicted in 2021 for corruption and influence peddling and sentenced to three years in jail.

He was convicted of bribing a judge in exchange for information about a probe into alleged financial impropriety in his party.

He did so by offering to help judge Gilbert Azibert secure a well-paid legal adviser role in the principality of Monaco.

The case for the prosecution rested on conversations between Sarkozy and his former lawyer, Thierry Herzog.

The case is known as the “wiretapping case” in France because investigators tapped phone calls between the president and Herzog in 2013 and 2014.

Sarkozy’s legal woes
The former president as been dogged by legal probes since leaving office in 2012.

Just last week, the French national financial prosecutor’s office, after a decadelong investigation, said it wasgoing to seek a trial on charges that his 2007 presidential campaign received millions in illegal financing from the government of late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Sarkozy will also be retried on appeal from November 2023 in the so-called Bygmalion case, which saw him sentenced to one year in prison at first instance.

The prosecution accused Sarkozy’s team of spending nearly double the legal limit on his lavish 2012 re-election campaign, using false billing from a public relations firm called Bygmalion. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Sarkozy is only the second president in France’s modern history to be convicted of a crime.

Still, the conservative politician enjoys support from the French right and maintains considerable influence.

rm/rt (AFP, dpa)


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