Paul Bismuth affair

Why convicted French politicians nearly always escape going to jail

Corruption — Analysis

On Monday December 5th former French president Nicolas Sarkozy began an appeal hearing following his conviction for corruption in the so-called 'Paul Bismuth' or phone-tapping case. At the original trial the ex-head of state was given a jail sentence but has not served a single night in prison. Mediapart's legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan explains why it is that French politicians who are convicted in corruption cases so very rarely serve jail time despite the heavy prison sentences that such offences can attract.

Ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy begins appeal against corruption conviction

France — Link

Last year, a court found Sarkozy - who served as France's president from 2007 to 2012 - guilty of trying to bribe a judge and influence peddling during his time in office.  

French prosecutors call for jail for Sarkozy in corruption trial

France — Link

The 65-year-old former president is accused of having tried to illegally obtain information from a senior magistrate in 2014 about an investigation involving him.

Confusion and delay: Sarkozy corruption trial gets off to uncertain start


The high-profile trial of Nicolas Sarkozy, in which he is accused of trying to use his influence to find out confidential judicial information, is finally under way in Paris. But the case, the first in which a former French president has faced corruption charges, has been beset by a string of disruptions and by sometimes confusing legal disputes. The result so far, says Mediapart's legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan, is a trial that has not yet done justice to the issues that are at stake.