Tag Archives: ACCUSATION

Court sends Nicolas Sarkozy to prison for corruption

Former French president to spend a year behind bars for bribing a judge

Nicolas Sarkozy found guilty of corruption

A Paris court has found the former French president guilty of corruption and abuse of office. The 66-year-old politician was sentenced to a total of three years in prison. He received two of them on probation. The prosecutor’s office demanded four years of imprisonment for the ex-president (two real sentences, two suspended ones).

The judge at the verdict said that Sarkozy “knew that he was doing wrong.” The ex-president denies all the charges and considers them to be harassment by political opponents. His lawyer, Jacqueline Laffont, pointed out that the investigation is based on “false grounds”, and people are “immersed in a sea of hypotheses and guesses, conjectures” in the absence of evidence.

Together with the former head of state, his lawyer Thierry Herzog and former judge of the Court of Cassation Gilbert Azibert were involved in the case. Both of them were found guilty of disclosing professional secrets. They received similar sentences: two years of probation and one year of actual imprisonment. Herzog was also banned from practicing law for five years.

The politician was accused of receiving money from Gaddafi and bribing a judge

The corruption case was a continuation of the story of illegal campaign financing: initially, investigators suspected that Sarkozy had exceeded the funding limit for his presidential campaigns in 2007 and 2012. In particular, he was accused of accepting illegal donations from the co-owner of the French company L’Oreal, Liliane Bettencourt, and the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. It was believed that from the first he received 150 thousand euros, and from the second to 50 million. This is despite the fact that in France there is a limit on such donations of 4,6 thousand euros per person. However, the charges for the Bettencourt episode fell apart in court, and the charges for the Gaddafi episode were withdrawn.

However, as part of the investigation into the financing of the 2007 election campaign, the investigators received permission to listen to the conversations of Sarkozy and Herzog. At the same time, it became known that some conversations were conducted on phones registered under fictitious names. The intercepted recordings formed the basis of a new accusation of trying to influence the course of the Bettencourt donation case.

Proceedings in the case began in the fall of 2020. According to the investigation, Sarkozy, through his lawyer Erzog, promised Judge Aziberu a position and a “warm place” in Monaco. In exchange, he was supposed to provide confidential information about the Bettencourt donation investigation.

The ex-President has a chance to avoid a prison sentence

Despite the sentence with a real term, Sarkozy has a chance to avoid a prison sentence, writes AFP. Under French law, citizens who have been given less than two years in prison can replace their detention with house arrest but are required to wear an electronic bracelet. The issue of changing the form of punishment is decided after considering all possible appeals in the case. The judge makes the corresponding decision either after the petition of the convicted person or on his own initiative.

In the near future, Sarkozy is waiting for another trial

A new hearing is also scheduled for March. The former president and his associates will face charges of illegal financing of the 2012 election campaign. Sarkozy is suspected of involvement in fraud: he allegedly managed to almost double the legal spending limit on the campaign as a whole. It is worth noting that he lost the 2012 election.

In addition, in January it became known that the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office of France opened another case against Sarkozy. The former president was suspected of illegally promoting the interests of a company from Russia. We are talking about a contract for 3 million euros, which he signed with the Russian insurance company “RESO-Garantia”. Its shareholder, the French association Axa, is a major client of the law firm Realize, founded by Sarkozy. The investigation suggests that in fact, he did not provide consulting services, but “traded influence”, lobbying the interests of Russian oligarchs with the help of his connections.

The Governor of New York is caught in a sex scandal

63-year-old politician, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo again found himself in an unpleasant situation. Two former aides say the governor behaved inappropriately.

25-year-old Charlotte Bennett, who worked with the politician, claims that he showed an increased interest in her personal life. According to her, Andrew Cuomo was interested in whether she had a man and asked how she felt about a relationship with an age difference. He also hinted that he felt lonely during the pandemic and asked Bennett who she had last hugged. The governor also hinted to the assistant that he is open to relationships with women who are 20 years old.

The young woman turned to Cuomo’s chief of staff and was reassigned a week later. Such revelations of the governor frightened her, but she did not insist on an official investigation.

The politician himself believes that he only performed “the functions of a mentor” and does not consider his questions to the assistant inappropriate. He himself initiated an external investigation into the incident.

It is worth noting that this is not the first accusation of sexual harassment by Andrew Cuomo. In February, another of his former aides, Lindsey Boylan, said that the governor touched her, kissed her, and made inappropriate comments about the appearance of other women without her consent. The politician denies his guilt and claims that he did nothing of the kind.

Recall that the former President of France, Valery Giscard d’Estaing, aged 94, who held office from 1974-1981, was accused of sexual harassment in December 2018.

The US accused the Saudi Prince of involvement in the murder of Khashoggi

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence of the United States published a report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 in Istanbul, which claims that the operation to capture or kill the journalist was personally approved by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman.

The intelligence service believes that his level of control over decision-making in the country is so high that such actions could not take place without the approval of the prince.

“The Crown Prince viewed Khashoggi as a threat to the kingdom and broadly supported the use of violent measures if necessary to silence him,” the report said.

It states that Saudi officials planned the operation in advance, and provides a list of 21 people whom the United States “with a high degree of confidence” suspects in the murder of Khashoggi. At the same time, the intelligence service cannot claim that the persons involved knew in advance what the final outcome of this operation would be.

Khashoggi was killed in October 2018 in Istanbul at the Saudi consulate. At first, the Saudi authorities denied his disappearance at the diplomatic mission, but after some time after the appearance of video and audio recordings, they were forced to admit that Khashoggi was killed “as a result of an argument with consular employees.” Turkish police were never able to find his body.

The Arab media put forward versions that the order to kill Khashoggi, who criticized the actions of the Saudi authorities, could have been given by the pretender to the throne in the kingdom — Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. However, the Foreign Ministry of the kingdom stated that the Crown Prince had nothing to do with this crime.