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France's Nicolas Sarkozy Receives Jail Sentence

Former president gets one year, but he can request to serve home confinement
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 1, 2021 7:25 AM CST

(Newser) – A Paris court on Monday found former French President Nicolas Sarkozy guilty of corruption and influence peddling and sentenced him to one year in prison and a two-year suspended sentence, per the AP. The 66-year-old politician, who was president from 2007 to 2012, was convicted for having tried to illegally obtain information from a senior magistrate in 2014 about a legal action in which he was involved. The court said Sarkozy will be entitled to request to be detained at home with an electronic bracelet. Sarkozy will face another trial later this month along with 13 other people on charges of illegal financing of his 2012 presidential campaign.

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The court said the facts were “particularly serious” given that they were committed by a former president who used his status to help a magistrate who had served his personal interest. In addition, as a former lawyer, he was “perfectly informed” about committing an illegal action, the court said. Sarkozy firmly denied all the allegations against him during the 10-day trial that took place at the end of last year. Sarkozy’s co-defendants—his lawyer and longtime friend Thierry Herzog, 65, and now-retired magistrate Gilbert Azibert, 74—also were found guilty and given the same sentence. This was the first time in France’s modern history that a former president has gone on trial for corruption. Sarkozy’s predecessor, Jacques Chirac, was found guilty in 2011 of misuse of public money and given a two-year suspended prison sentence for actions during his time as Paris mayor. (Read more Nicolas Sarkozy stories.)

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