According to the BBC, the 66-year-old immediate past President of France was prosecuted for trying to bribe a magistrate by offering a prestigious job in Monaco in return for information about a criminal inquiry into his political party.
The who Sarkozy attempted to influence, Gilbert Azibert, and Sarkozy’s former lawyer, Thierry Herzog, got the same sentence.
However, two years of Sarkozy’s three-year jail term have been suspended, reducing it to one year which he can serve at home instead of in prison as his other accomplices.
The judge said that he could serve a year at home with an electronic tag, rather than go to prison.
While reading the court’s ruling, the judge said that Sarkozy “knew what [he] was doing was wrong”, adding that his actions and those of Herzog had given the public “a very bad image of justice”, the BBC reported.
Meanwhile, the ex-president who served the country since 2007 before losing his 2012 re-election bid is expected to appeal the ruling.
“It is a legal landmark for post-war France. The only precedent was the trial of Sarkozy’s right-wing predecessor Jacques Chirac, who got a two-year suspended sentence in 2011 for having arranged bogus jobs at Paris City Hall for political allies when he was Paris mayor. Chirac died in 2019.
“Prosecutors sought a four-year jail sentence for Sarkozy, half of which would be suspended.
“The case centred on conversations between Azibert and Herzog, which were taped by investigators looking into claims that Sarkozy accepted illicit payments from the L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for his 2007 presidential campaign.
“The phone line they tapped was a secret number set up in a fictional name, Paul Bismuth, through which Sarkozy communicated with his lawyer.
“Sarkozy is also due to go on trial in a separate case, from 17 March to 15 April, which relates to the so-called Bygmalion affair. Sarkozy is accused of having fraudulently overspent in his 2012 presidential campaign.
“Despite his legal entanglements Sarkozy has remained popular in right-wing circles, a year away from a presidential election,” the BBC said.
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