Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, convicted of corruption, will fight if necessary before the European Court of Human Rights to prove his innocence. In an interview with Le Figaro newspaper, he said: “I cannot accept that I was convicted of something I did not do.” “There is absolutely no evidence against me.” However, he excludes a return to an active policy.
Sarkozy, 66, was sentenced on Monday to three years in prison, including two on probation, on charges of corruption and abuse of power. It is alleged that he attempted to obtain classified information from a senior official about a legal investigation that was underway. In return, this official would have got a job in Monaco.
Immediately after the ruling, the former president (2007-2012) announced that he would appeal. Now, for the first time, he will also discuss the substantive content of pronunciation. “I’ve received thousands of support statements and hundreds of phone calls,” he said in Le Figaro. But above all, he is just too harsh about the judges ’work, which he thinks is not good.
Doubt about the impartiality of the judges
During the judicial investigation “I violated all procedural rules.” Sarkozy says he doubts the judges ’impartiality. In his opinion, the verdict is linked to absurdities.
“I don’t want to call it political rule, because that would harm our democracy,” he begins with caution. But then he is severely criticized. According to him, everyone at the trial was able to see that none of the allegations remained.
“It was mentioned in the black and white documents that I did not pressure in Monaco to get a job. Nobody got paid a penny. Nobody had any benefit. There were no injuries,” Sarkozy said.
“A total of 4,500 phone conversations of mine were wiretapped. In what democracy can an opposition leader be spied on – because I am – in this way, for seven months, while the content of those phone conversations also leaked to the press?” Sarkozy asks. “If this had happened in Putin’s Russia, human rights activists would have been shouting for the assassination for a long time.”
Not a candidate anymore
In the interview, he was also asked about his political ambitions. Some in his right-wing “Republican” party are hoping for his return. Presidential elections will be held in France for more than a year. “I left the activist politics behind,” says Sarkozy. “I will not run. But this does not mean that I will not express my opinion in the elections.”
After all, Le Figaro asked him what he’d done after the judge’s ruling. I spent the evening with my family and watched a series: the kill. “