Sarkozy Convicted on Corruption; Plans to Appeal

Photo courtesy of Alexandre Lallemand on

Peter Sloniewsky, Staff Writer

France’s ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy has been sentenced to three years in prison for corruption. He was convicted of trying to bribe a judge in 2014, after he had already left office, by suggesting he could secure a prestigious job in Monaco in exchange for information in a separate case over illicit payments from L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.
In the ruling, Judge Christine Mée stated that Sarkozy “knew what [he] was doing was wrong” and had given the public a “very bad image of justice.” In a legal landmark for post-WW2 France, with the only precedent being Jacques Chirac’s trial, the crimes were specified as influence-peddling and violation of professional secrecy. Sarkozy’s wife, supermodel, and singer Carla Bruni reacted by negatively depicting the case, adding that “the fight continued, and truth would come out.” She also added that the case was “senseless persecution.” She was right about one thing; the fight will indeed continue.
The appeal, which could take years, is based on not his innocence but an accusation of ill-gotten evidence. Sarkozy is due to go on trial next month over the so-called Pygmalion affair. He is accused of overspending in his unsuccessful 2012 campaign, and prosecutors are investigating claims that he received illicit funds from former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidency first began in May 2007. Due to his close political standing with his Prime Minister, he was active in foreign and domestic reforms and could be compared to leaders such as Napoleon and Louis XIV, in refercence to his will to control and change France. From the far-right, Sarkozy led to pass controversial mass deportations of Roma, in addition to other necessary, yet unpopular, reforms, guided by his often harsh and brash leadership style. Still a leader in the French far-right, Sarkozy was known for controversies based on his short temper and his blunt ideas. He was defeated by a Socialist, François Hollande, by a moderate margin in the 2012 presidential elections. Since, he has taken the place of an “irreplaceable” kingmaker in French rightist politics, a reputation in the air after his sentencing.