France is known to be a scandalous country. This ranges from tax evasion through extramarital relationships to outright fraud. In Transparency International’s global ranking of corrupt countries, France ranks 23rd for Petty, just behind Uruguay but just ahead of the United States.
Politics can’t escape it either. Soon after taking office, the incumbent President Macron was forced to send three of his new ministers back home, because the French justice formally suspected them of fraud. The former president, Francois Hollande, had an interior minister who had been sentenced to four years in prison for tax fraud and money laundering. Former President Jacques Chirac has been sentenced to two years in prison for stealing public money.
And now it is Nicolas Sarkozy’s turn (66). Earlier in the day, he was looking forward sober, seated in a folding stool in the court, when the verdict was handed down. Three years in prison, two of them are under probation. According to the judge, the former president (2007-2012) is guilty of corruption and abuse of power.
In 2014, the police and judiciary overheard Sarkozy’s phone conversations with his lawyer, Thierry Herzog. He discussed the ongoing judicial investigation with the former president. The two had agreed to ask the friendly attorney general for information about this secret investigation. In exchange, the public defender can get a new job in Monaco.