Hamilton Journal News
France’s Sarkozy convicted of corruption, sent to prison
PARIS — A Paris court found French former President Nicolas Sarkozy guilty of corruption and influence peddling on Monday and sentenced him to a year in prison. He can ask to serve that time at home and also plans to appeal.
The 66-year-old, who was president from 2007 to 2012, was convicted of trying to bribe a magistrate in exchange for information about a legal case in which he was implicated.
He will remain free while he appeals, but it was a blow to the retired politician who still plays an influential role in French conservative politics. It’s not the end of his legal troubles either: He faces another trial later this month and is also under investigation in a third case.
The ruling marks the first time in France’s modern history that a former president has been convicted of corruption — and given a prison term. His predecessor, Jacques Chirac, was found guilty in 2011 of misuse of public money during his time as Paris mayor — not considered a corruption offense — and was given a two-year suspended prison sentence.
The court said Sarkozy is entitled to ask to be detained at home with an electronic bracelet — as is the case for any sentence of two years or less. He also received a twoyear suspended sentence — which he will not have to serve if he commits no new offense in the next five years.
Later, Sarkozy’s lawyer, Jacqueline Laffont, said he would appeal.
Sarkozy’s co-defendants — his lawyer and longtime friend Thierry Herzog, 65, and now-retired magistrate Gilbert Azibert, 74 — were also found guilty and given the same sentence as the politician.