News World Europe Former French president Sarkozy lashes bribery sentence

Former French president Sarkozy lashes bribery sentence

nicolas sarkozy jail
Nicolas Sarkozy arrives at court to hear his sentence on a bribery charge. Photo: Getty
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Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has criticised his sentencing for bribery and influence peddling, calling his conviction a “profound injustice”.

Sarkozy was sentenced to three years in prison, two of them suspended, in a historic ruling on Monday.

He is, however, unlikely to go to jail, as the one-year prison sentence can be served in home confinement with an electric bracelet.

He could not accept being sentenced for something he had not done, he told Le Figaro newspaper on Tuesday.

Sarkozy’s lawyer Jacqueline Laffont announced plans to appeal on Monday and in the interview, Sarkozy also mentioned appealing to the European Court of Human Rights.

Sarkozy was accused of trying, with the help of his legal adviser in 2014, to learn investigative secrets from Gilbert Azibert, then an advocate general at the Court of Cassation, regarding a separate investigation concerning campaign financing.

In return, the ex-president was said to have offered to support the lawyer in applying for a post in Monaco.

According to local media reports, the judge said Sarkozy forged a “corruption pact” with his lawyer and the advocate general, undermining the judiciary’s independence, an offence of “extraordinary gravity”.

Sarkozy’s lawyer, Thierry Herzog, and Azibert were also sentenced to three years each, both also including two years of a suspended sentence.

Herzog is banned from working as a lawyer for five years.