The court on Wednesday upheld his initial sentence of three years of prison, with Sarkozy being required to wear an electronic bracelet under house arrest for one year, and two years suspended.
“Nicolas Sarkozy is innocent,” his lawyer Jacqueline Laffont ttold CNN affiliate BFMTV on her way out of court. “The decision is astounding and unfair,” she added.
Laffont said Sarkozy “will go to the end of this judicial process,” and will file an appeal at the French supreme court, the last legal step before his sentence is executed.
Sarkozy was first sentenced in March 2021 for trying to illegally obtain information from a senior magistrate in 2014 about an ongoing investigation into his campaign finances.
The Paris prosecutor had then requested a three-year prison sentence, with two years suspended, for the former president and his co-defendants: his lawyer Thierry Herzog and former magistrate Gilbert Azibert.
The case dates back to 2013 when investigators looking into Sarkozy’s campaign finances bugged phones belonging to the former president and his lawyer Herzog.
They discovered that the two men promised senior magistrate Azibert a prestigious position in Monaco, in exchange for information about a then ongoing inquiry into claims that Sarkozy had accepted illegal payments from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for his successful 2007 presidential campaign.
Sarkozy, who served as president between 2012 and 2017, has been convicted twice in separate cases since leaving office, both of which he has appealed.
He will face an appeal hearing in November in the so-called “Bygmalion case,” in which he was sentenced to one year in prison in September 2021 for illegal campaign funding in his re-election bid of 2012.
He also faces a number of other investigations including one into allegations of illegal campaign funding from Libya. France’s financial crimes prosecutors said on May 11 that Sarkozy and 12 others should go on trial over allegations that millions of euros were sought from former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.