Featured image: Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy before his appeal hearing on the 17th of May. Source: Bertrand Guay/AFP via Getty Images
Yesterday it was reported that the former French President Nicholas Sarkozy lost his appeal on a conviction for corruption at the Paris court of appeals. Sarkozy, who was the President of France from 2007 to 2012, was convicted for corruption and influence-peddling in 2021 for having attempted to bribe a Judge. A taped phone conversation between Sarkozy and his lawyer Thierry Herzog, relieved that they had offered the judge a prestigious job if the judge gave them information about a previous corruption case. The investigation he attempted to interfere with regarded claims of illegal funding for his presidential campaign in 2007.
Sarkozy plans on appealing the case at the French supreme court. If this last round of appeals fails he will serve his initial sentence of one year of house arrest and two years probation.
In November he will return to court for an appeal against another conviction from 2021, where he was sentenced to one year in prison for illegal funding for his re-election campaign in 2012.
Before his time as President, Sarkozy previously served as the interior minister during the 2005 rebellion in the french bandelieus. After the fourth night of the rebellion in Paris, he announced the permanent assignment of 17 riot police companies and seven mobile police squads to “difficult neighborhoods”.
The riots started after the death of two youths who were electrocuted when hiding from the police in an electrical substation. The incident also caused a power blackout.
Sarkozy responded to the rebellion by spreading hate against the masses and denying their demands. “I reject any form of other-worldly naivety that wants to see a victim of society in anyone who breaks the law, a social problem in any riot, … What happened in Villiers-le-Bel has nothing to do with a social crisis. It has everything to do with a ‘thugocracy’. He also described the rebelling youth with the word “racaille”, meaning “scum”, often with racial implications.
Sarkozy was also central in the 2011 war against Libya, where he seeked to counter the influence of Italian imperialism in the country. A report by French media shows some of the struggle between France and Italy for influence in the now war-torn African country. This struggle over who would to the larger degree exploit the oppressed country was a key factor of the start of the US-led invasion with the participation of most of the imperialist countries and of the continued instability of Libya.