Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will appear in court on 23 local time. He faces charges of corruption and abuse of power. He may be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and fined.
Agence France-Presse reported on the 23rd to quote the prosecutor in the case as saying that Sarkozy was accused in 2013 of illegally accepting funding from the late heir Liliane Bettencourt of L’Oréal in the 2007 presidential campaign for In exchange for inside information related to the case, Sarkozy promised at the time that a judge named Gilbert Azibert would get a “comfortable job” in Monaco.
According to the report, a large part of the evidence in this case came from the prosecution’s monitoring of the conversation between Sarkozy and his lawyer, M. Herzog. Sarkozy and Erzog accused the prosecutor of monitoring their calls. Violated the client’s lawyer privileges, but in 2016 the French Supreme Court supported the use of monitored content as evidence.
Investigators discovered that Sarkozy bought a personal phone under the pseudonym Paul Bismuth (Paul Bismuth) and discussed with Erzog about Azibel many times. The prosecutor said that Azibel’s “task” was to listen to Bettencourt’s insider investigations. In exchange, Sarkozy would use his “broad connections” to “get” a position in Monaco for Azibel.
Sarkozy once stated in an interview with French TV station BFM that “Azibel has never obtained any position in Monaco”, but the report stated that under French law, just a suggestion or promise may constitute corruption.
According to reports, Sarkozy, Erzog and Azibel will be tried together on the 23rd local time. The three are charged with corruption, abuse of power and violation of professional secrets. If convicted, they will all face up to 10 years in prison and huge fines. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that Sarkozy will also be tried in the “Bygmalion” case from March 17 to April 14, 2021. He is suspected of using “bygmalion” in order to conceal campaign funding overruns. Big Marion’s public relations company made false accounts.
According to previous reports by Xinhua News Agency, Sarkozy served as French president from 2007 to 2012. He faded out of politics after losing his re-election campaign in 2012 and has been involved in lawsuits ever since. He denied all the allegations, claimed to have been persecuted by political opponents, and repeatedly stated that he would thoroughly clean up his stigma.