World Sarkozy sentenced to imprisonment for corruption

18:25  01 march  2021
18:25  01 march  2021 Source:   gala.de

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A Paris criminal court has found former French President Nicolas Sarkozy guilty of bribery and illegally influencing the judiciary. The 66-year-old was sentenced to three years in prison on Monday, two of which were suspended by the court. Sarkozy is the first former post-war president convicted of corruption in France. His conservative party criticized the guilty verdict as "disproportionate".

Ein Pariser Strafgericht hat den früheren französischen Präsidenten Nicolas Sarkozy in einem Korruptionsprozess zu drei Jahren Haft verurteilt und davon zwei zur Bewährung ausgesetzt. Das Gericht sprach den 66-Jährigen der Bestechung schuldig. © Anne-Christine POUJOULAT A Paris criminal court has sentenced the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to three years imprisonment in a corruption case and suspended two of them on probation. The court found the 66-year-old guilty of bribery.

The court stayed under the prosecution's request for four years in prison, two of which were suspended. The defense had pleaded for acquittal due to lack of evidence.

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Sarkozy recorded the verdict in the courtroom without moving. He and his lawyers then left the court without comment. The former conservative president had always denied the allegations and described the process as a "scandal".

The case dates back to 2014, around two years after Sarkozy's term as head of state ended from 2007 to 2012. The judges are convinced that he will help an attorney general at the Supreme Court apply for a post in Monaco however never received. Sarkozy wanted to get information about an ongoing investigation against him in another matter.

The Paris Criminal Court sentenced former Advocate General Gilbert Azibert to three years imprisonment, two of which on probation, for corruption. The same sentence was imposed on Sarkozy's attorney Thierry Herzog, with whom, according to the presiding judge Christine Mée, he had discussed the "corruption pact". The lawyer is also not allowed to practice his profession for five years after the judgment. Herzog announced his appointment.

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The court decided not to issue an arrest warrant. Prison sentences of less than two years are generally not enforced in France. One of the reasons for this is the overcrowding of the prisons.

representatives from Sarkzy's conservative party Les Républicains (The Republicans) expressed their indignation at the guilty verdict. "The severity of the punishment is absolutely disproportionate and shows the doggedness of the judiciary," said party chairman Christian Jacob on Twitter. Other party members also spoke of an "extremely harsh punishment".

Before Sarkozy, only ex-President Jacques Chirac, who died in 2019, had to answer legally because he had set up a system of bogus jobs during his time as Paris mayor in the 1990s. Chirac was unable to attend his trial on health grounds and was sentenced to two years probation in 2011.

Another trial against Sarkozy begins on March 17th in Paris. It concerns the suspicion of illegal financing of his presidential election campaign in 2012. The former president is also being investigated because of a consultancy activity in Russia and possible campaign donations by the former Libyan ruler Muammar al-Gaddafi.

Sarkozy had already officially withdrawn from politics in 2016. Previously, he was clearly inferior to his former Prime Minister François Fillon in the nomination of the Conservative Republicans for the presidential election.

Many followers of Sarkozy hoped for a comeback despite everything. Because before the election of the head of state in the coming year, there is so far no strong challenger for President Emmanuel Macron in the conservative camp.

lob / bfi

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