A court in Paris has found former French President Nicolas Sarkozy guilty of corruption and influence peddling.
The former president has been sentenced to a one-year prison term and a 2 year suspended sentence.
Sarkozy was France’s president from 2007 to 2012 was accused of forging a “corruption pact” with his lawyer and a senior magistrate. Judges said there was “serious evidence” of collaboration between the three men to break the law.
The 66-year-old is the first president to have been sentenced to jail in France’s modern history.
Prosecutors told the judges that Sarkozy had offered to secure a job in Monaco for judge Gilbert Azibert, in return for confidential information about an inquiry into allegations that he had accepted illegal payments from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for his 2007 presidential campaign.
This came to light while they were wiretapping conversations between Sarkozy and his lawyer Thierry Herzog after the right-wing leader left office. The wiretapping was carried out with another investigation into alleged Libyan financing of the same campaign.
Sarkozy will face another trial later this month along with 13 other people on charges of illegal financing of his 2012 presidential campaign.
In 2011, former president Jacques Chirac was found guilty of misuse of public funds and given a two-year suspended prison sentence for the employment of fictitious officials when he was mayor of Paris in the early 1990s.
By JN Wamanji