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

Nicolas Sarkozy will appeal his conviction and prison sentence for corruption and influence. Sarkozy makes history as the first former French president to be convicted of corruption. He, his lawyer Thierry Herzog and Judge Gilbert Azibert were all found guilty in the Paris courtroom. We are examining the case and its consequences, not only for Sarkozy and the other convicts, but for the center-right, the electoral process, the judicial system and, in fact, for France.

As early as 2013, Sarkozy was put under telephone surveillance by the French authorities, which are investigating illegal funding from Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi for his 2007 campaign. Foreign political funding is banned in France.

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

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

Produced by Charles Wente, Juliette Laurain and Imen Mellaz.

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