French judges on Monday postponed the corruption trial of former president Nicolas Sarkozy until November 26 to assess the health of one of his co-defendants.
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Sarkozy was set to go on trial Monday for attempted bribery of a judge in what could turn into a humiliating postscript to a political career tainted by a litany of legal woes.
The ex-president, along with his lawyer Thierry Herzog and judge Gilbert Azibert, are accused of corruption.
A lawyer for Azibert asked for the trial to be suspended because his client was at high risk of contracting Covid-19 given a long-term heart condition
The judges ordered an independent medical assessment by Thursday before deciding whether to go ahead with the trial or suspend it
Though Sarkozy won’t be the first modern French head of state in the dock — his predecessor and political mentor Jacques Chirac was convicted of embezzlement — he is the first to face corruption charges
Sarkozy fought furiously for six years to have the case thrown out, denouncing “a scandal that will go down in history”
“I am not a crook,” the 65-year-old, whose combative style made him one of France’s most popular politicians, told BFM TV this month
Prosecutors say Sarkozy promised Azibert a plush job in Monaco in exchange for inside information on an inquiry into claims that Sarkozy accepted illicit payments from L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for his 2007 presidential campaign