Trial of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy Commences

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy went on trial for attempted bribery of a judge for information about an investigation into his party finances.

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy went on trial for attempted bribery of a judge for information about an investigation into his party finances.

According to the prosecutors, Sarkozy promised the judge a job in Monaco in exchange for inside information on an inquiry into claims that Sarkozy took dirty money from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for his 2007 presidential campaign.

The said judge was identified as Gilbert Azibert, a general counsel at the Cour de Cassation, France’s top appeals court for criminal and civil cases.

The wiretaps of phone conversations between Sarkozy and his longtime lawyer Thierry Herzog would be used as evidence for the trial.

Azibert was allegedly tasked with obtaining information from the court lawyer in charge of the Bettencourt inquiry and to persuade him to seek a verdict in Sarkozy’s favor.

Sarkozy and Herzog defended that the taps on their phones are a breach of client-attorney privilege but it was already authorized by judges and used as evidence in 2016. 

Sarkozy and Herzog both faced a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a maximum fine of one million euros ($1.2 million) if they are found guilty. 


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