Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was sentenced on criminal charges stemming from a corruption scandal on Monday.
Sarkozy, 66, will be the first former French president to do time if the case is not successfully appealed.
While he was given three years in prison, he will only have to serve one of them and the judge allowed it to be carried out under house arrest, rather than in a correctional facility, according to Le Monde.
Nicolas Sarkozy has been found guilty of influence peddling for attempting to bribe a judge. The enigmatic politician, whose dodgy friends and past scrapes with the law have won him infamy in Europe.
Sarkozy, who led France from 2007 to 2012, was famed for his marriage to Italian supermodel turned French-pop chanteuse Carla Bruni—his third wife—as well as for his political prowess. As part of the tranche of evidence used to convict the former president are tapes of intimate conversations made by Sarkozy’s former campaign adviser who fondly referred to him as “the dwarf” and by Bruni herself who reportedly often reminded him he was nothing short of a “kept man” thanks to her millions. He has the right to ask for his sentence to be served as house arrest.
Sarkozy is also facing another criminal proceeding set to begin on March 17, where he’ll be on trial for the “Bygmalian affair” that upended his attempted political comeback ahead of the 2017 election. In that scandal, prosecutors accused Sarkozy of accepting improper campaign contributions during his 2007 presidential campaign from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.
Sarkozy’s lawyers were caught on wiretaps in 2014 discussing how to defend their client from claims he accepted illegal cash from L’Oreal heiress and France’s wealthiest woman Liliane Bettencourt during his 2007 presidential campaign. Sarkozy was found guilty of trying to get more information about that case from the magistrate.
Sarkozy told the court instead that he had “never committed the slightest act of corruption.” He said Monday he would appeal the conviction.