Thursday’s court refused a request for a postponement of the trial related to a corruption case brought by one defendant alongside former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and ordered him to appear “personally” before it Monday, so the trial, the first of its kind in France, will take place before the end of the year.
After its inauguration, which was scheduled for 23 November, was postponed, the trial will begin on 30 November at 1:30 pm.
The start of the trial was suspended after former judge Gilbert Aziber, 73, requested a postponement for health reasons and against the backdrop of the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic.
But a medical expert, the court requested whose opinion, concluded that the judge’s health “is currently compatible” with his appearance before the Paris court, with “strict adherence to the rules of distancing.”
During breaks from the session, Sarkozy, in a dark suit and muzzle, looked relaxed, joking with his lawyers and talking to reporters.
Sarkozy, who withdrew from politics after losing the primaries in late 2016, faces a possible 10-year prison sentence and a million euros fine on charges of corruption and abuse of influence. He is also being tried, like the other two men, for violating professional secrecy. The three men deny there is any “agreement to carry out a corruption”.
The trial, which is supposed to last for three weeks, is the first of its kind targeting a president in the post-war period.
Before the trial opened, Sarkozy, 65, denounced “a scandal that will be recorded in history” and confirmed that he would “face his obligations” while defending himself in court.
suspect it that Sarkozy, along with his lawyer, Thierry Erzog, attempted to bribe Judge Aziber, who was then working on the Court of Cessation.
According to the indictment, Sarkozy was seeking through the judge to get classified information and influence the course of another trial before the Supreme Court in the Betancourt file, but his request was rejected by the end of 2013.
Sarkozy was supposed to facilitate appointing this judge to a position in Monaco, but he did not win him.
The current case, called the “wiretapping” case, stems from another court case threatening Sarkozy, which is the suspicion that he got Libyan funding for his presidential campaign in 2007.
In this context, the judges decided in September 2013 to subject the former president to wiretapping and discovered in early 2014 that he was using a secret line, under the pseudonym “Paul Bismuth”, to communicate with his lawyer, Thierry Hertzog.
According to the Public Prosecution, some of their talks revealed the existence of efforts to agree to carry out corruption operations. The defense side believes it is illegal to rely on these conversations because of this breach of confidentiality between the lawyer and his client.
Nicolas Sarkozy awaits another trial in the spring in the “Pygmalion” case over the costs of his 2012 campaign that he lost to Francois Hollande.