Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy sentenced to jail for corruption, unlikely to serve any time behind bars

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was sentenced in a French court on Monday to three years in prison for corruption and influence peddling.

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The French court suspended two of the three years of the sentence. The judge said that the former French President did not need to serve time in jail but rather could serve the sentence by wearing an electronic bracelet in the comfort of his home. 

Nicolas Sarkozy, now aged 66, was the President of France between 2007 to 2012 and is the first president in France’s modern history to be sentenced to jail. 

From 2007 to 2012, Sarkozy played an “active role” in creating a “corruption pact” through his lawyer and a senior magistrate in order to access information concerning another investigation on political donations which was ongoing at the time. 

Sarkozy’s lawyer will appeal the decision, likely resulting in a new trial. In France, one-year sentences can be served at home under certain conditions such as wearing an electronic bracelet or a limited home confinement. 

Another investigation into Sarkozy’s alleged corruption and influence peddling is also ongoing and known as the “Bismuth affair” in which a magistrate was allegedly offered a “cushy job” in exchange for information regarding political donations. 

Sarkozy is also set to appear in court later this month for the “Bygmalion affair”, a case of re-election bid overspending. 

While the past French president is not likely to serve jail time for now, a number of other corruption and influence peddling cases are still impending and could result in a more serious sentence, if found guilty. 

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