Updated at 10:55 am
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been sentenced by a Paris court to life in prison for trying to bribe a judge. He was sentenced to two years in prison and three years in prison.
During a trial that closed in December, Sarkozy and his lawyer were accused of trying to bribe a judge, and during the 2007 presidential campaign, Sarkozy illegally took money from his L’Oreal heir, Liliane. The Bettencourt case was later dropped.
Sarkozy, 66, allowed house arrest France 24 Report. The court sentenced Sarkozy to three years in prison, but suspended two of those years – meaning he faces one year in prison.
Sarkozy faces a number of legal challenges individually.
Judge Gilbert Acebert, then a magistrate of the Court of Appeals, reportedly offered him a soft job in Monaco. Attorneys Sarkozy was offered the job by his lawyer, Thierry Herzog, who was a co-defendant in the trial, as was Ajibert. Herzog and Acebert were also convicted by the court.
The conviction against Sarkozy makes him the second former French president to face corruption charges in recent years. His predecessor, Jack Chirac, was convicted in 2011.
Taken together, the charges carry a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of one million euros ($ 1.2 million). According to France 24.
Prosecutors had demanded at least four years in prison, half of which he would have to serve.
“These events would not have happened if a former president and a lawyer had kept in mind the size, responsibility and duties of his office,” attorney Jean-Luc Blachsen told the court in December, 24.
Sarkozy also testified in December, denying any wrongdoing.
“I have never, ever misused my influence, accused or true,” he told the court. “What right do they have to drag me through mud like this for six years? No rule of law?”
When discussing bribery, the state case was prominent in the wiretapes of conversations between Sarkozy and his lawyer, Thierry Herzog. Sarkozy’s defense attorney called the recorded conversations “chats between friends.”
The defense also said that the fact that the judge never got the job in question was evidence against real corruption. However, the court rejected that argument, refusing to draw any distinction between a successful corruption attempt and a failed one.
Sarkozy is also expected to appear for trial Allegations that he exceeded the campaign spending limit 22.5 million euros (24 million) in an attempt for re-election in 2012, and then tried to cover it up.
He could face legal trouble from an investigation into allegations that he received millions of dollars for the 2007 campaign from Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi, who was ousted and assassinated in 2011.
In January, French prosecutors launched an influential investigation against the former president, following reports that he had signed a ஆலோசனை 3 million ($ 3.6 million) consulting deal with a Russian insurance company.
Eleanor Piertsley of the NPR in Paris contributed to this report.
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