Nicolas Sarkozy condemns corruption conviction

Former French president won’t accept court decision and claims trial was unjust

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy arrives at the Paris court house to hear the final verdict in a corruption trial on March 1, 2021.  A French court is to hand down its verdict in the corruption trial of Sarkozy, with prosecutors demanding prison time for the 66-year-old. Sarkozy, who led France from 2007 to 2012, is accused of offering a plum job in Monaco to a judge in exchange for inside information on an inquiry into his campaign finances.  
 / AFP / Anne-Christine POUJOULAT
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Disgraced Nicolas Sarkozy has vowed to clear his name and take his fight all the way to the European Supreme Court of Human Rights.
The former French president said his conviction for trying to bribe a judge was deeply unjust and that the case against him was riddled with inconsistencies.
"I can't accept being convicted for something I didn't do," he said.
Sarkozy, 66, was convicted on Monday of forming a "corruption pact" with his former lawyer and friend Thierry Herzog.
The crime was "particularly serious having been committed by a former president who was the guarantor of the independence of the judiciary", the judge said.
On Wednesday, in an interview with Le Figaro, an unrepentant Sarkozy hit back.

"I appealed the decision, maybe I will have to pursue this fight all the way to the European Court of Human Rights.

"That would be painful for me to have to get my own country condemned, but I'm ready to do so because that would be the price of democracy."
He is scheduled to be interviewed on TF1 TV news on Wednesday evening.

Sarkozy, who was sentenced to three years in jail, is not expected to spend time behind bars.

Two years were suspended and the remaining year would be served at home with an electronic bracelet.
The judgment was "riddled with inconsistencies", Sarkozy said.

"It doesn't provide any proof, but just a bunch of circumstantial evidence."
The conviction, which Sarkozy suggested stemmed from the political bias of investigating judges, seems to have ended any hopes of his political revival.
"I've said that I won't be a candidate and I stand by that," he said.
Sarkozy has three other legal cases pending.
On March 17, he is scheduled to face a second trial over accusations of fraudulently overspending in his failed 2012 re-election bid.

He is charged over allegations he received millions of euros from the late Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi for his 2007 election campaign.

And in January, prosecutors opened a probe into alleged influence peddling by Sarkozy, over his advisory activities in Russia.