Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is pictured during a visit in Nice, France. File/Reuters
Gulf Today Report
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy goes on trial Monday for attempted bribery of a judge, a first for the 65-year-old politician who has faced several other judicial investigations since leaving office in 2012.
Sarkozy is being accused of having tried to illegally obtain information from a magistrate about an investigation involving him in 2014.
Though he is not the first modern French head of state in the dock — his predecessor and political mentor Jacques Chirac was convicted of embezzlement -- Sarkozy is the first to face corruption charges.
He stands trial in a Paris court along with his lawyer Thierry Herzog, 65, and the magistrate, Gilbert Azibert, 73.
They face a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a maximum fine of 1 million euros ($1.2 million). They deny any wrongdoing.
Hearings are scheduled until Dec.10.
A French court found former president Nicolas Sarkozy guilty of trying to bribe a judge and influence peddling on Monday and sentenced him to three years in prison, a stunning fall from grace for a man who led France and strode the world stage for five years.
Authorities had "seized 6.9 million euros, $351,770 and 5.7 million Sudanese pounds at (Bashir's) home which he acquired and used illegally," the judge said.
Prosecutors allege that Sarkozy’s party, then known as the UMP, splurged nearly double the 22.5 million euros ($27 million) permitted under electoral law on extravagant campaign rallies, and then used a friendly public relations agency to hide the cost.
Alain Robert, the free climber dubbed the "French spiderman", scaled one of Barcelona's highest skyscrapers on Saturday without a harness. And for the first time ever, the famous daredevil was joined by his son.
Yoda was a newspaper deliveryman, a mysterious thief known locally as the man of women's coats, and the authorities had been trying to catch him for more than a decade.
The Dubai Civil Defence brought a fire that broke out in a 14-storey residential tower in the Al Nahda area under control. No casualties were reported, official sources confirmed.