Sarkozy in France faces imprisonment and denies corruption agreement

Paris – The ruling is expected on Monday in a groundbreaking corruption and influence elimination trial that puts former French President Nicolas Sarkozy at risk of imprisonment if convicted.

Sarkozy, who served as president from 2007 to 2012, firmly denied all allegations against him in a 10-day trial at the end of last year.

A 66-year-old politician is suspected of trying to illegally obtain information from a senior justice of the peace in 2014 about a proceeding in which he was involved.

It is the first time in modern French history that the former president has been tried for corruption. Sarkozy’s predecessor, Jacques Chirac, was found guilty of misusing public money in 2011 and sentenced to two years in prison with a suspended sentence during his time as Mayor of Paris.

Sarkozy’s co-defendant, his lawyer and longtime friend Thierry Elzok, 65, and now retired Justice of the Peace Gilbert Ajibert, 74, have also denied cheating.


The prosecution demanded that all three defendants be sentenced to two years in prison and a two-year suspended sentence for stating that it was a “corruption agreement.”

“The agreement never existed,” Sarkozy told the court. “It’s neither in my head nor in reality.”

“I want to get rid of that infamy,” he added.

The trial focused on a telephone conversation that took place in February 2014.

At that time, the investigative judge had begun investigating the financing of the 2007 presidential election. During the investigation, I happened to discover that Sarkozy and Herzog were communicating via a secret cell phone registered under the alias “Paul Bismuth”.

In conversations eavesdropped on these phones, prosecutors instead leaked information about another lawsuit known as L’Oréal’s heir Liliane Bettencourt, France’s wealthiest woman, Sarkozy and Herzog in Monaco. I suspected that I had promised a job.


In one of these calls with Herzog, Sarkozy described Ajibert as follows:

In another example, Herzog reminded Sarkozy to “word” Ajiber during his trip to Monaco.

The proceedings against Sarkozy were withdrawn in the Bettencourt case. Ajiber has never worked in Monaco.

However, the prosecutor concluded that the “stated promise” itself constitutes a corruption crime under French law, even if the promise is not fulfilled.

Sarkozy strongly denies malicious intent.

He told the court that his political life was “to give (people) a little help.” That’s it, please help me a little. “

“I was 100 billion miles away from thinking I was doing something I didn’t have the right to do,” he said.

Sarkozy said he did not obtain confidential information from Ajibert.

Prosecutors believe that Sarkozy was informed at some point that a secret phone was being tapped, which is why he did not ultimately help Ajibert get a job.


Confidentiality of communication between lawyers and their clients was a major issue in the trial.

“There is a man in front of you who has been tapped over 3,700 private conversations … what did I do to deserve it?” Sarkozy said.

Sarkozy’s defense lawyer, Jacqueline Rufffont, claimed that the entire case was based on a “small discussion” between the lawyer and his client.

“You don’t have the beginning of evidence, a few witness explanations, not a few declarations,” she told the court.

Sarkozy withdrew from active politics because he was not elected presidential candidate for the Conservative Party in the 2017 French elections won by Emmanuel Macron.

However, he is very popular among right-wing voters and plays a major role behind the scenes, including maintaining a relationship with Macron, who is said to advise on specific topics. His memoir, The Time of Storms, published this summer, has been a bestseller for weeks.


Sarkozy, along with 13 others, will face another trial later this month on suspicion of illegal financing in the 2012 presidential election.

His Conservatives are suspected of spending € 42.8 million ($ 50.7 million) on funding the winning campaign of Socialist rival Francois Hollande, almost double the maximum amount approved. ..

In another study, launched in 2013, Sarkozy was accused of robbing then-Libyan dictator Muang Margadafi of millions to illegally fund the 2007 campaign.

He received preliminary accusations of passive corruption, illegal campaign finance, and concealment of stolen property from Libya and the Criminal Association. He denied cheating.

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Sarkozy in France faces imprisonment and denies corruption agreement

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