France’s ex-president, Nicolas Sarkozy, sentenced to jail for corruption

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(FILES)This file photo taken on July 09, 2016 in Kriegsheim, eastern France shows former French president and head of the right-wing opposition party "Les Republicains" (The Republicans) in Kriegsheim, eastern France. Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been called in for questioning by investigators looking into suspected Libyan financing of his 2007 election campaign, a source close to the inquiry told on March 20, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / FREDERICK FLORINFREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images

France’s former president Nicholas Sarkozy was on Monday found guilty of corruption and influence-peddling and sentenced to a three-year jail term.

Sarkozy, 66, is however allowed to request that his prison term — of which two years are suspended — be served at home with an electronic bracelet.

He is the first former French leader to be handed out a prison sentence that includes time with no remission. His predecessor at the Elysée Palace, Jacques Chirac, had been handed a two-year suspended jail term after being found guilty of corruption while Paris Mayor.

Sarkozy was accused of offering to boost a high magistrate’s chance of obtaining a promotion in Monaco back in 2014 in return for leaked information about a judicial enquiry against him.

Sarkozy, who was president from 2007 to 2012, firmly denied all the allegations against him during the 10-day trial that took place last year.

Sarkozy’s lawyer, Thierry Herzog, and the senior judge, Gilbert Azibert, also denied wrongdoing. Both have been handed the same sentence as Sarkozy with the former also slapped with a five-year professional ban.

Prosecutors had requested two years of prison and a two-year suspended sentence for all three defendants over what they said was a “corruption pact.”

“No pact has ever existed,” Sarkozy told the court. “Neither in my head nor in reality.” “I want to be cleared of that infamy,” he added.

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