Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was found guilty of corruption and trading in influence by a Paris court, said he was not going to run for president in 2022, but would vote.
“I said that I would not be a candidate in the upcoming presidential elections, and I confirm this,” the politician said in an interview with the newspaper Le Figaro on Tuesday, March 2.
The former French leader stressed that he is still a member of his political party and will not leave it. He is a member of the country’s Republican Party.
Sarkozy added that he was “too attached to France to be indifferent to what is happening.” He explained his statement that he was going to “turn the page of active political activity”, noting that this was “another personal reflection” that worries him, his family, and which “prompted” the politician to decide to leave.
Sarkozy said he would not have become actively involved in political activities, even if he had been released on Monday.
He said that he saw how the prosecutor “bragged with his great complacency” that he did not ask to deprive the ex-president of his civil rights.
“So I can still vote. I thank him … but he will not dictate my political agenda, ”said the former French leader.
On March 1, a Paris court found Sarkozy guilty in a case of corruption and trading in influence. He was sentenced to three years in prison, of which one year will be a real term, and two – a suspended one.
BFMTV later announced that the politician would be able to serve one year of his real sentence at home – under electronic surveillance.
The defense of the former president planned to appeal the verdict, as it caused only “misunderstanding” and “indignation”.
Sarkozy himself expressed his readiness to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to prove his innocence.
Sarkozy’s lawyer Thierry Erzog and former high-ranking official of the Court of Cassation Gilbert Azibert were also found guilty in the case. They were sentenced to similar terms.
In early December last year, the prosecutor’s office demanded to sentence the former leader of France to four years in prison, including two – conditionally.
The court began considering the case against the ex-president on November 23. In October, he was charged with involvement in a criminal community in the case of alleged Libya financing his presidential campaign in 2007.
The investigation began in 2012, after the French publication Mediapart published documents that said the transfer of € 50 million by the Libyan authorities for the needs of Sarkozy’s presidential campaign. The accused promised to prove his innocence.