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Ex president Sarkozy of France jailed over corruption

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Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been sentenced to three years on charges of bribery and influence peddling, a court in Paris on Monday rules.

The sentence includes one year in prison and two years of suspended sentence, according to a report by the press agency AFP and other French media.

He was accused of trying, with the help of his legal adviser in 2014, to learn investigative secrets from Gilbert Azibert, then an advocate general at the Court of Cassation, regarding a separate investigation concerning campaign financing.

In return, the ex-president is said to have offered to support the lawyer in applying for a post in Monaco

Corruption allegations against the ex-president surfaced after investigators wiretapped conversations between Sarkozy and his lawyer Thierry Herzog as they were looking into allegations of Libyan financing in Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign.

The recordings showed Sarkozy and Herzog had discussed contacting Gilbert Azibert, a magistrate at the Court of Cassation, France’s court of last resort for criminal cases, to try to gain information on a separate investigation into whether the ex-president had received donations from L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

Prosecutors said Sarkozy and his lawyer discussed offering a prestige post in Monaco to Azibert in return for information about the Bettencourt case, which was eventually dropped.

Herzog and Azibert were also on trial with Sarkozy and similarly charged with corruption and influence peddling. They were also sentenced to jail terms.

The corruption trial is one in several cases Sarkozy is involved in. Next March, the former president is due in court over accusations of violating campaign financing rules during his failed 2012 reelection bid.

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