15:26 GMT11 April 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Political figures, especially those in office, should refrain from any public comments regarding the decision of a Paris court to imprison ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy in a corruption and influence-peddling case, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said in an interview published by the Politico newspaper on Thursday.

    "It seems essential to me that politicians, especially politicians in office, do not comment on court decisions," Le Maire said.

    The minister added that he had a phone conversation with Sarkozy after the sentence was announced, but did not make any public comments on the matter due to his belief  "in the separation of powers. ” Notably, Le Maire served as the country's Agriculture Minister in the Sarkozy's government in 2009-2012.

    Following Sarkozy's conviction, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin became the only government official to publicly express support to the ex-president.

    A Paris court on Monday ruled that Sarkozy was guilty of corruption, and sentenced him to three years in prison, two of which were suspended, for allegedly trying to influence-peddle a French judge into giving him information on a inquiry into illicit funding of his 2007 presidential campaign.

    This makes Sarkozy the first former French president to receive a real prison term. Sarkozy's lawyer Thierry Herzog and a former high-ranking official of the Court of Cassation Gilbert Azibert were also found guilty of corruption in the case.

    prison sentence, sentence, conviction, Nicolas Sarkozy
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