Nicolas Sarkozy, former president of France, has been jailed for three years, two of which are suspended, for corruption. He does not have to go to the cell, but will receive an ankle bracelet.

A prison sentence of four years had been demanded against 66-year-old Sarkozy, but the court did not agree.

Campaign funds

Sarkozy has been found guilty of attempting to bribe a judge in exchange for insider information about an investigation into his campaign’s finances. He has also been punished for abuse of power during his presidency. 

Sarkozy said several times during the trial that he is innocent. He indicated that he would prove his innocence to the highest judge. He called the trial “scandalous.” According to him, behind the lawsuit are “vengeful left-wing magistrates and prosecutors.” 

At the time, Sarkozy made telephone calls under the pseudonym Paul Bismuth. Thousands of conversations have been overheard, and in one he mentioned an open position in Monaco while asking a judge for information on another case against him. According to prosecutors and judges, this was an indisputable attempt to bribe his interlocutor. Sarkozy thus abused his power.

Sarkozy was president from 2007 to 2012 and is still popular at the center of French politics. He could have made a comeback as an alternative to the increasingly unpopular left-liberal president Emmanuel Macron and the right-wing nationalist Marine Le Pen.

Sarkozy is the first French ex-president in modern history to be sentenced to prison for corruption.