Ex-French President sentenced to jail for corruption

French ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy has been sentenced to three years in jail, two of them suspended, for corruption.

He was convicted of trying to bribe a magistrate in 2014 – after he left office – by suggesting he could secure a prestigious job for him in return for information about a separate case, the BBC reported.

Sarkozy, 66, is the first former French president to get a custodial sentence.

His lawyer says he is appealing. Sarkozy will remain free during that process – which could take years.

In the ruling, Judge Christine Mée said Sarkozy could serve a year at home with an electronic tag, rather than go to prison.

The conservative politician “knew what [he] was doing was wrong”, the judge said, adding that his actions and those of his lawyer had given the public “a very bad image of justice”.

The crimes were specified as influence-peddling and violation of professional secrecy.

It is a legal landmark for post-war France. The only precedent was the trial of Sarkozy’s predecessor Jacques Chirac, who got a two-year suspended sentence in 2011 for having arranged bogus jobs at Paris City Hall for allies when he was Paris mayor. Chirac died in 2019.

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