Convicted of corruption, Nicolas Sarkozy is sentenced to three years in prison, one of which is closed

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Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was sentenced Monday in Paris to three years’ imprisonment, including one firm, for corruption and influence peddling in the so-called “eavesdropping” affair, born in 2014 of telephone interceptions with his historical lawyer Thierry Herzog.

The criminal court considered that a “corruption pact” had been concluded between the former president, now 66 years old, Me Thierry Herzog and the former high magistrate Gilbert Azibert, also sentenced to three years in prison, including a farm.

On December 8, the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) had requested against the 66-year-old ex-president four years’ imprisonment, two of which were firm, considering that the presidential image had been “damaged” by this affair with “devastating effects” .

Our article this morning:
For Nicolas Sarkozy, a first capital judgment

Paul Bismuth’s “pact”

The case of the “tapping” dates back to 2014. As part of the investigation into the suspicions of Libyan financing of his 2007 presidential campaign – which has since earned him a quadruple indictment – the judges discover that Nicolas Sarkozy is using a secret telephone line, opened under the alias of “Paul Bismuth”, to communicate with Thierry Herzog.

About ten of their conversations were transcribed. According to the court, they prove that a “corruption pact” was concluded between Nicolas Sarkozy, his lawyer and the former high magistrate Gilbert Azibert.

A prestigious position

For the prosecution, Gilbert Azibert transmitted, via Thierry Herzog, information covered by secrecy and tried to influence a cassation appeal formed by Nicolas Sarkozy, on the sidelines of the Bettencourt affair. In exchange, the latter agreed to support the candidacy of the magistrate, then Advocate General in a civil chamber of the highest jurisdiction, for a prestigious position in Monaco. “He worked eh!” notably launches Me Herzog in one of the exchanges read at the hearing. “Me, I bring it up,” said Nicolas Sarkozy another day.

The same sentence – four years’ imprisonment, two of which was firm – was required against the three defendants, accompanied for Me Herzog by a request for a five-year professional ban.

“Gossip”, according to the defense

These conversations were only “chatter between friends”, argued the defense lawyers, who ridiculed the “fantasies”, “hypotheses” and “lawsuits” of the prosecution.

Faced with a “desert of evidence”, they pleaded in unison for the release of the defendants, who face ten years in prison and a million euros fine.


Development follows.

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