Friday, April 16, 2021

Prosecutor to appeal after Sarkozy conviction

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Nicolas Sarkozy, former French President

The French national financial prosecutor (PNF) will appeal the court’s decision, which sentenced the former President to effective imprisonment for corruption and influence peddling, the agency said. France-Press.

This appeal, which follows the appeal of the former head of state and his co-defendants, will allow the Court of Appeal to be able to reanalyze the entire dossier, including the aggravation of the sentences handed down at first instance.

According to French law, and in the absence of a similar appeal from the Public Prosecutor’s Office, an appeal court cannot issue heavier penalties than those announced at first instance.

In a decision announced Monday, Nicolas Sarkozy was convicted by a correctional court for corruption and influence peddling of three years in prison, including one year of effective sentence, of the so-called “wiretapping” case.

His lawyer Thierry Herzog and the former high magistrate Gilbert Azibert received the same sanction, and with the prohibition of exercising for five years for Herzog.

Sarkozy, the first former head of state to be sentenced to actual imprisonment in France, immediately announced that he would appeal the sentence, like Herzog and Azibert. The “listening” dossier expected to return to trial in 2022.

On Wednesday, Sarkozy did not rule out the possibility of appealing to the European Court of Human Rights and assured that he will fight “until the end so that the truth triumphs”.

Shortly before, and in a rare stance, the president of the Paris judicial court had “solemnly” called for “respect for the judicial institution”, after strong criticisms against the trial.

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