01 March 2021

Not Surprised, but Amused

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been found guilty of corruption, and sentenced to prison.

It's always been clear that he was pond scum, and now he is convicted pond scum:

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was found guilty of corruption and influence peddling on Monday and sentenced to one year in prison, marking a historic defeat for the 66-year-old, who has remained popular among conservative voters even as his legal woes mount.

The verdict included a two-year suspended sentence, but Sarkozy’s attorney said her client would appeal, delaying the sentence from taking effect. Given that short prison sentences in France can typically be waived, it is unclear whether Sarkozy would have to spend any time in prison even if the appeal were to fail. He could also request to serve the sentence at home, subject to electronic monitoring.

The ruling followed years of parallel investigations against the former president, and some others are ongoing. Sarkozy, who was president from 2007 to 2012, will face another trial later this month over accusations that his party falsified accounts during his unsuccessful reelection bid in 2012.

The charges over which Sarkozy was sentenced Monday were centered on whether he was behind a deal with a magistrate to illegally receive information on an inquiry linked to him, using false names and unofficial phone lines.

According to the prosecution, Sarkozy and his then-attorney and longtime friend Thierry Herzog attempted to bribe the magistrate, Gilbert Azibert, by offering him a high-profile position in return for information. The incident occurred after Sarkozy had left office.

The inquiry related to claims that Sarkozy and others had accepted illegal contributions from business executive Liliane Bettencourt, the late heiress of French cosmetics giant L’OrĂ©al, ahead of the 2007 presidential campaign. Sarkozy was later cleared of those illegal-funding charges.

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Sarkozy is the second former French president in a decade to be sentenced. Jacques Chirac, Sarkozy’s predecessor and initial patron, was given a two-year suspended sentence in 2011 for handing nonexistent jobs to political allies during his time as Paris mayor. 

It comes as no surprise that the Gaullists are rife with corruption.

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