Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been sentenced to one year in prison after being found guilty of corruption and influence peddling by a court of law.
The former president is alleged to have established a “corruption pact” with a senior magistrate together with his lawyer.
According to the judges, there was “serious evidence” of conspiracy amongst the three to break the law. The court heard how Nicholas Sarkozy instructed his attorney Thierry Herzog to give the magistrate an easy job on the Côte d’Azur in exchange of information regarding investigations on the politician.
However, it is most unlikely that the former president will spend in jail since one year prison sentence can be served under certain conditions amongst them being confined at home or putting on an electronic bracelet. Mr. Sarkozy is also expected to challenge the ruling in the court of appeal.
The verdict which was given on Monday quashes his hopes of returning to the public limelight amidst presidential election scheduled for next year. For the longest time, his party Les Républicains has struggled to settle on a credible candidate after scandals hit Sarkozy’s former prime minister François Fillon during the 2017 presidential race which saw Emmanuel Macron win.
The president of the tribunal Judge Christine Mée ruled that there was serious evidence of a “corruption pact” between him, senior magistrate Gilbert Azibert and Herzog.
The verdict which was made in Paris court left many people in shocked silence even as the three men left the building without any comment.
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Prior to the ruling, Sarkozy had stated that he welcomed the hearing since it would provide him with the opportunity to clean his name.
“I am combative. I have no intention of being accused of things I haven’t done. I’m not corrupt and what has been inflicted on me is a scandal that will rest in the annals. The truth will out,” Sarkozy told BFMTV.