A French appeals court on Wednesday upheld a one-year prison sentence for former President Nicolas Sarkozy on a conviction for corruption and influence peddling.
His lawyer said he will take the case to France’s highest court and insisted that Sarkozy is innocent. The 68-year-old ex-president would not have to serve time until a final ruling, and if definitively convicted, he could ask to serve his sentence at home.
Sarkozy, 68, was convicted in 2021 of trying to bribe a magistrate in exchange for information about a legal case in which he was implicated. It was the first time in modern French history that a former president had been convicted of corruption and sentenced to prison.
Sarkozy, who was president from 2007 to 2012, denies wrongdoing and appealed the original ruling. The Paris appeals court on Wednesday upheld the conviction and the sentence, according to a court official.
His lawyer, Jacqueline Laffont, called the decision “stupefying” and “unjust.”
Sarkozy is entitled to ask to be detained at home with an electronic bracelet, standard practice for sentences of two years or less. He also received a two-year suspended sentence, which he will not have to serve if he commits no new offence in the next five years.
It is one of multiple legal cases Sarkoky has faced. He was convicted later in 2021 of illegal campaign financing of his unsuccessful 2012 re-election bid. Last week, prosecutors asked for him to be sent to trial on charges that he took millions in illegal financing for his 2007 campaign by the regime of late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.