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Corruption trial against Sarkozy to resume on Monday

Former President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy. He is accused of corruption and influence peddling Image: Charles Platiau / Reuters

The corruption trial against former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will resume on Monday (30) after the Paris criminal court on Thursday rejected a request by one of his co-accused to postpone on grounds of health.

The court rejected the request made by one of the defendants to Sarkozy, retired judge Gilbert Azibert, 73, who asked for a postponement of the trial in order not to expose himself to covid-19.

Based on a medical examination he requested, the court concluded that Azibert was in a position to appear and ordered him to appear in person on Monday at 1:30 pm (9:30 am Brasília), before suspending the hearing until that date.

This three-week trial is unprecedented since Nicolas Sarkozy is the first former president of France to sit in the accused’s chair.

Before him, only a former French president, Jacques Chirac, his predecessor and political mentor, was tried and convicted of embezzlement of public funds when he was mayor of Paris but, due to health problems, never appeared in court.

This process, known in France as the “staples” case, has its origin in another case that threatens Sarkozy, that of the suspicions that he received funding from the Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi during the 2007 presidential campaign that led him to the Elisha.

The judges decided to tap the ex-president’s phone and that’s how they found out he had a secret line on which he used the pseudonym “Paul Bismuth”.

According to the investigators, some conversations he had in this line revealed the existence of a corruption pact. Through his lawyer Thierry Herzog, Sarkozy would have tried to obtain secret information from another judge through Judge Azibert.

Azibert would also have tried to influence his colleagues in favor of Sarkozy. In return, Sarkozy would have promised the magistrate to help him secure a highly coveted position on the Monaco Council of State.

Sarkozy, president from 2007 to 2012, denies the charges and has promised that he will be “combative” in this trial.

If found guilty, Sarkozy, who left politics after his defeat in the Eliseu dispute in 2016, could be sentenced to a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of one million euros ($ 1.2 million) .

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