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Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been sentenced to one year for corruption

According to the International News Agency, a Paris court sentenced Nicolas Sarkozy, the country’s president from 2007 to 2012, to one year in prison for buying a judge and accepting illegal payments from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt in his 2007 presidential election.

Sarkozy, who was president from 2007 to 2012, is the second head of state in modern-day France to be convicted of corruption.

Prosecutors persuaded the judges that after leaving office, Sarkozy had offered to secure a plum job in Monaco for a judge in return for inside information about an inquiry into allegations that he had accepted illegal payments from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for his 2007 presidential campaign.

“He took advantage of his status and the relationships he had made,” presiding judge Christine Mee told the court.

Sarkozy, who led France from 2007 to 2012, had denied any wrongdoing, saying he was the victim of a witch-hunt by financial prosecutors who used excessive means to snoop on his affairs. 

Retired from politics but still influential among conservatives, Sarkozy has 10 days to appeal the ruling. 

He is the second former president in modern France, after the late Jacques Chirac, to be convicted of corruption. 

Prosecutors persuaded the judges that Sarkozy had offered to secure a plum job in Monaco for judge Gilbert Azibert in return for confidential information about an inquiry into allegations that he had accepted illegal payments from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for his 2007 presidential campaign. 

This came to light, they said, while they were wiretapping conversations between Sarkozy and his lawyer Thierry Herzog after Sarkozy left office, in relation to another investigation into alleged Libyan financing of the same campaign. 

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