Prosecutors in a corruption trial for a former French president Nicolas Sarkozy They demanded that he be sentenced to four years in prison, of which he will serve two years.
The 65-year-old Yemeni, the first modern head of state to appear in the dock, is accused of trying to bribe a judge with a retirement job in exchange for inside information about an investigation into his campaign’s finances.
Prosecutors demanded the same penalty for Sarkozy’s lawyer and co-defendant Thierry Herzog, as well as Judge Gilbert Seibert.
They said that Herzog should also be written off for a period of five years.
Sarkozy who led France From 2007 to 2012, he told the court on Monday that he had “never committed any act of corruption” and pledged to “go all the way” to clear his name in the historic trial.
The corruption and abuse of influence charges – among several legal cases against him – carry a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine of € 1 million ($ 1.2 million).
Sarkozy said on Monday he enjoyed the prospect of a fair hearing after “dragging him in the mud for six years”.
“What have I done to deserve that?” Sarkozy asked, who wore a black suit and a surgical mask under his nose, vowing to “walk along the path for the truth.” The courtroom was as full as the virus restrictions would allow.
Prosecutors say he and Herzog attempted to bribe Azibert in exchange for information on an investigation into allegations that Sarkozy received illegal payments from L’Oréal’s late heir, Lilian Bettencourt, during his 2007 presidential campaign.
The country’s case is based on wiretapping of talks between Herzog and Sarkozy, something the former president denounced during his speech to the court.
Azibert was a senior advisor in France’s highest court of appeal at the time. He didn’t get the job in Monaco.
Meanwhile, Sarkozy has been acquitted of any wrongdoing in the Bettencourt case, but he still faces a host of legal troubles.
He remains accused of allegations that he received millions of euros in funding from Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi for his 2007 election campaign. He is also accused of fraudulent spending on his failed 2012 reelection bid.
Only one French president, Sarkozy’s political mentor Jacques Chirac, was tried after leaving office, but was relieved of having to attend a corruption trial in 2011 due to ill health.
Chirac was sentenced to a two-year suspended prison sentence for creating ghost jobs in Paris’ town hall that were used to fund his party when he was mayor.