EX-FRENCH PREXY NICHOLAS SARKOZY CONVICTED OF CORRUPTION
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was found guilty of corruption on Monday and handed a three-year prison sentence after a court in Paris convicted him for trying to illegally influence a judge during his time in office, Anne Lec’hvien reported for the Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The sentence includes two years suspended, which means it is unlikely Sarkozy will physically go to prison. He is almost certain to appeal and remains free, with no arrest warrant issued. The verdict is the latest twist in the tumultuous political career of the 66-year-old who ruled France from 2007 to 2012 and remains a favorite for many on the right.
The conviction is likely to undermine any attempted comeback to frontline politics, an ambition he has denied, but which has been promoted by many supporters ahead of the 2022 presidential elections.
Only one other French president, Sarkozy's political mentor Jacques Chirac, was put on trial after leaving office, but he was excused from having to attend his 2011 corruption trial because of ill-health.
Chirac received a two-year suspended sentence over the creation of ghost jobs at the Paris city hall to fund his party when he was mayor.
The verdict on Monday related to a case of influence peddling and corruption, one of at least four separate investigations into the former leader, who married former supermodel and singer Carla Bruni while in office.