Ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy to wear electronic bracelet for a year after losing corruption appeal
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has lost his appeal of a conviction for corruption and influence peddling but will stay out of prison for now.
In 2021, Sarkozy was found guilty of attempting to illegally obtain information from a senior magistrate in 2014 about a separate legal case in which he was involved. A Paris court sentenced him to one year in prison and two years suspended.
The 68-year-old appealed the decision, claiming innocence. But the court on Wednesday denied Sarkozy’s appeal and upheld his conviction, according to a court official.
However, Sarkozy’s lawyer said he will appeal again to France’s highest court, the Cour de Cassation. The Cour de Cassation will review Sarkozy’s case for legal or procedural errors, but will not re-examine the facts, Reuters reported.
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Sarkozy, meanwhile, will be permitted to serve time at home, wearing an electronic bracelet to monitor his location until a final ruling is issued. It is reportedly typical for those who receive a prison sentence of less than a year to be permitted to serve time at home with electronic monitoring.
Sarkozy, who was president from 2007 to 2012, is the first modern French president to be convicted of corruption and sentenced to prison.
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His lawyer, Jacqueline Laffont, called the court’s decision “stupefying” and “unjust.”
“Nicolas Sarkozy is innocent of the charges,” Laffont said per Reuters. “We will not give up this fight.”
The corruption case centered on 2014 phone conversations between Sarkozy and his lawyer that were taped by police. Prosecutors alleged that Sarkozy offered a judge a prestigious job in Monaco in return for information about investigations into his 2007 campaign for president, the BBC reported.
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Both the judge and lawyer involved in the case were sentenced to three years in jail, two of them suspended, according to the BBC.
Prosecutors had asked for the court to soften Sarkozy’s sentence to three years suspended. But Judge Sophie Clement kept the original court’s sentence, saying the case had impacted the country’s institutions, according to Reuters.
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It was one of multiple legal cases Sarkoky has faced. He was convicted later in 2021 of illegal campaign financing of his unsuccessful 2012 re-election bid. Last week, prosecutors asked for him to be sent to trial on charges that he took millions in illegal financing for his 2007 campaign by the regime of late Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.
Sarkozy has denied any and all wrongdoing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.