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The verdict of the former President of France

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On Monday, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of bribery and attempting to exert illegal influence. Two years out of three, however, Sarkozy received a suspended sentence. The judges considered it proved that in 2014, no longer being president of the country, Sarkozy illegally gained access to documents about the ongoing investigation against him. What is the current verdict?

The separation of powers has started working again

The verdict is downright revolutionary, “ rejoices Le Soir:

“Where does this revolution originate? On the pages of the French press, which in recent years has regained its independent character — and turned to investigative journalism, putting the public interest at the forefront. And injustice, which is also contributing again. During the trial [against Sarkozy], during which the wiretapping protocols were heard, the prosecutor stressed: This is not an act of revenge. ... The former head of state has rights that must be respected, but he, for his part, must respect the principle of the rule of law.”

The French justice system is too politicized

The fact that Sarkozy was caught as a result of wiretapping shows that the French justice system is extremely politicized, Le Figaro writes:

“These stolen words, in fact, are the result of a constant and unceremonious legal campaign conducted by the National Financial Prosecutor's Office. ... I can recall examples of recent times when judges became important political players. This is the termination of the years-long investigation into Nicolas Sarkozy in the Bettencourt case, this is the unusual haste of the prosecutor's office in relation to Francois Fillon, as well as the legal risk that is like a paralyzing poison poisoning the crisis management in the fight against the pandemic. ... Of course, politicians should set an example to others, and nothing should protect them from the full rigor of the law. But what gives the justice itself the right to fall into the pride that it so mercilessly pursues among the people's representatives in power?”

Who wins? The Far Right

This is not the first time that a court has passed a guilty verdict against an ex-president, “ Naftemporiki notes:

“In 2011, Jacques Chirac, who was 79 years old at the time, was sentenced to two years of probation for embezzlement of public funds. His risky moves on the edge of the law were so well known to the general public that the youth wing of the Socialist Party during the second round of the presidential election in 2002 campaigned against Marine Le Pen under the slogan “Vote for a liar, but not for a fascist”. ... What is happening to French politicians? Or are they more susceptible to corruption than other heads of state — or are the French courts doing a better job? Be that as it may, it is clear that all this is a wind in the sail of the representative of the far-right Marine Le Pen, who is now leading in the polls — and has all the sights on winning the presidential election in 2022.”

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