The Debate

Sarkozy convicted: What does it mean for politics and justice in France?

THE DEBATE
THE DEBATE © FRANCE 24

Nicolas Sarkozy is to appeal against his conviction and jail sentence for corruption and influence peddling. Sarkozy makes history as the first former French president to be convicted of corruption. He, his lawyer Thierry Herzog and the judge Gilbert Azibert were all found guilty in the Paris courtroom. We examine the case and its implications, not just for Sarkozy and the others convicted, but for the centre right, the electoral process, the legal system and indeed for France.

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Back in 2013, Sarkozy was put under phone surveillance by the French authorities investigating illegal funding from Libya's Muammar Gaddafi for his 2007 campaign. Foreign political funding is forbidden in France.

At the same time, Sarkozy's diaries had been seized in a separate investigation of alleged illegal donations from France's richest woman, the late Liliane Bettencourt, the L'Oréal heiress.

It was in the attempt to get back the diaries, using a link between lawyer Thierry Herzog and the judge Gilbert Azibert, that the corruption case emerged against the three men. But the current Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has spoken out against the conviction.

Produced by Charles Wente, Juliette Laurain and Imen Mellaz.

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