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JUST IN! Former President Sentenced To Jail For Corruption

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Sarkozy found guilty of corruption and influence peddling but is unlikely to spend time in prison

The former French president Nicolas Sarkozy leaves court in Paris after being found guilty on Monday of corruption and influence-peddling.
The former French president Nicolas Sarkozy leaves court in Paris after being found guilty on Monday of corruption and influence-peddling.

When the verdict came, it reduced the Paris court to a stunned silence: Nicolas Sarkozy was guilty of corruption and influence peddling, and sentenced to three years in prison, two of them suspended.

France’s president from 2007 to 2012 had played an “active role” in forging a “corruption pact” with his lawyer and a senior magistrate to obtain information on a separate investigation into political donations, the leading judge declared, and there was “serious and concurring evidence” of collaboration between the three men to break the law.

The conviction and sentence were dramatic, unexpected and historic. Sarkozy, 66, had repeatedly declared his innocence and dismissed the charges as an “insult to my intelligence”.

It is, however, unlikely he will spend a day in jail. His lawyer has announced he intends to appeal, a process that would lead to a new trial, and a one-year prison sentence can be served outside jail under certain conditions, including the wearing of an electronic bracelet or limited home confinement.

Sarkozy did not comment as he left the court but his wife, the supermodel turned singer Carla Bruni, on Instagram described the verdict as an “injustice”.

“What relentless nonsense my love,” she wrote. “The battle continues, the truth will out.”

While Sarkozy was not banned from holding public office, the verdict, delivered on Monday afternoon, is likely to quash his hopes of returning to public life in time for next year’s presidential election. His centre-right Les Républicains (LR) party has been struggling to come up with a credible candidate since Sarkozy’s former prime minister François Fillon was engulfed in scandal during the 2017 presidential race, opening the way for Emmanuel Macron to win.

At his trial last year, the court heard how Sarkozy instructed his lawyer, Thierry Herzog, to offer the senior magistrate Gilbert Azibert a cushy job on the Côte d’Azur in return for information on an investigation into whether he had received donations from the ailing L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

The Bettencourt case was eventually dropped, but by then an investigation into corruption and influence peddling had been opened.

The judge Christine Mée, the president of the tribunal, said there was serious evidence of a “corruption pact” between Sarkozy, Herzog and Azibert. Herzog, aged 65, and Azibert, 73, were given similar sentences of three years, two suspended.

The case, based on telephone taps, became known as the “Bismuth affair”; Paul Bismuth was the name the former president employed in connection to two burner telephones used to communicate with Herzog.

French detectives began monitoring Sarkozy’s communications in September 2013 as part of an investigation into claims he had received an illegal and undeclared €50m donation from the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi to fund his successful 2007 presidential campaign.

What they heard from the recorded conversations pointed investigators in a new and unexpected direction. They revealed the former president and Herzog were “secretly” communicating using mobile telephones registered under false names.

Additional wiretaps on these phones picked up conversations suggesting Sarkozy had been in contact with Azibert, then a member of the cour de cassation – the highest court in France – via Herzog to request confidential information about the Bettencourt case.

Sarkozy, who is embroiled in several legal cases, has repeatedly denied accusations of any wrongdoing in all past and present investigations.

He spent years attempting to have the Bismuth charges thrown out and the case dismissed. Herzog argued the secretly recorded conversations between him and Sarkozy were covered by client-lawyer privilege and could not be used as evidence.

Before his trial last year, Sarkozy had said he welcomed the hearing as a chance to “clean my name”.

“I am combative. I have no intention of being accused of things I haven’t done. I’m not corrupt and what has been inflicted on me is a scandal that will rest in the annals. The truth will out,” Sarkozy told BFMTV.

The former president is expected to appear in court later this month in yet another case, the “Bygmalion affair”, in which he is accused of overspending on his 2012 re-election bid.

He is also being investigated on allegations of influence peddling and “laundering of crime or misdemeanour” related to consulting activities in Russia.

Sarkozy supporters have accused French judges of making the former president the target of an unfair and relentless legal crusade.

He is the first former president to appear in court on criminal charges. His predecessor Jacques Chirac was charged and convicted, receiving a two-year suspended sentence, over fake jobs at City Hall when he was mayor of Paris – but was spared taking the stand because of ill health.

At the end of his two-week trial last year, Sarkozy’s said: “This case has been for me the stations of the cross. But if that was the price to pay for the truth to come out, I am ready to accept it … I still have confidence in the justice of our country.”

Herzog was also convicted of breaching the rules of professional secrecy between him and his client. Herzog and Azibert have announced they will appeal against their conviction.

After the verdict, Damien Abad, the president of LR’s parliamentary group, tweeted: “Today I want to again express my friendship with President Nicolas Sarkozy. His life has been a succession of trials that he has never ceased to overcome with energy and courage. Once again he will prove this. I am certain of it.”

Source: Vitalgist.com

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I’ve recently been defrauded to the tune of $7 million – Kennedy Agyapong laments

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Assin Central Member of Parliament, Kennedy Agyapong, has disclosed that he has landed in a botched business that has seen him swindled to the tune of US$7 million by a young man.

According to him, in the line of business, no matter how shrewd a person is; losses and other challenges can pop up but that it was how a person handles it that determines how good a businessperson they are.

GhanaWeb monitored comments Agyapong made on Net2 TV’s ‘The Attitude’ show on August 20 where he revealed that the ‘fraudsters’ who are messing with him will soon know who they are up against.

“Even for me, things are not so smooth for me as you think. I told you last week that I have bought machines worth 7 million dollars for some young boys, they have swindled me, they are still on it, they haven’t changed.

“Their time will come, my message is that when I was advancing them the money to buy the canon machines, if that was all I had, I wouldn’t have given them that money. So I will eat, what pains me is that a 39-year-old boy will swindle me, a 61-year-old man.”

According to him, now that he is plotting to hit back at the fraudsters, “people are begging, people are still begging. People I respect are begging, you see why Ghana is not progressing?” he quizzed.

He vowed to go after the boys and to collapse their business, a fight back that he said he had started by cutting their sources of supply and business.

Agyapong, however, remains undaunted by the incident, stressing that he will continue to run his businesses and to make investments because that was a sign of a businessman who understands the ups and downs that come with the trade.

“I will not let them demoralize me…. I’m still investing. I am business-wise already but I have grown wiser. If you see a Ghanaian dying, let him die…. Nana Boadu (he gave the names of one of the boys) will not know what is coming upon him.

“But I will not let those boys collapse me, they are very evil, I know of two but I am told they are three… I will retrieve every pesewa of mine from those small boys, they will never swindle me this badly.

“I will take action and I don’t care, because I will not let him take me for granted ever. I usually pass my hand over my head. My head is boiling because I am so pained that the boys have been able to swindle me that bad,” he lamented.

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Chaos: Agbogbloshie scrap dealers fires shots at police over de-congestion exercise – ghanapublisher.com

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The scrap dealers at Agbogbloshie in Accra are resisting the decongestion exercise by the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council.

The scrap dealers and onion traders at Agbogbloshie are being relocated to Adjen Kotoku to help free the congestion in the central business district of Accra as part of the agenda “Make Accra work again” initiated by the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Henry Quartey.

Graphic Online’s reporter Joshua Bediako Koomson who is with the team undertaking the exercise reports that the de-congestion exercise started Thursday morning was moving smoothly until the team arrived at the scrap dealers section.

The dealers set used vehicle tyres ablaze in protest against their removal from the spot.

According to our reporter Joshua Bediako, “They are firing shots and throwing stones at the security personnel.”

“They also started burning tyres”, he added.

He said the exercise aimed at removing onion traders and scrap dealers to Adjen Kotoku was peaceful until they reached the scrapyard.

The scrap dealers argued that they were not served any notice to vacate the place.

“So the military had to intervene by firing warning shots to disperse them,” he added.

Source: graphiconline

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Calm down and support Prez. Akkufo Addo – Nana B to Ejura Youth – ghanapublisher.com

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NPP YOUTH WING APPEALS TO EJURA YOUTH TO CALM DOWN, SUPPORTS PREZ AKUFO-ADDO’s DIRECTIVE FOR PUBLIC INQUIRY

The National Youth wing of the New Patriotic Party has learned with profound concern reports of the alleged murder of Ibrahim Mohammed aka Kaaka and the unfortunate death of two protesters in Ejura in the Ashanti Region.

At the outset, we condemn in no uncertain terms the alleged mob attack that led to the untimely death of Kaaka and also the use of disproportionate force by the joint security force against the rampaging youth in Ejura.

We sincerely sympathize with the families of the deceased and pray that the good Lord comfort and strengthen them in the difficult times they find themselves.

As agonizing and regrettable as the death of these three individuals are, the Youth wing, in all humility, appeals to the youth in Ejura to calm down and tread a path that engenders peace, love and unity to honor the memories of the dead.

As youth we hold the key to the future of our great nation and we cannot jeopardize this great task by resorting to instant retaliation and violence which threatens the peaceful coexistence in our country.

We welcome and support the directive from H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the Minister of Interior, Hon. Ambrose Dery, MP, to immediately conduct Public Inquiry into the circumstances that led to the unfortunate occurrences on Tuesday, 29th June, 2021.

Again, we add on to the numerous calls on the Police to expedite investigations into the unfortunate death of Kaaka and serve justice to him and the bereaved family by bringing the perpetrators to book.

That said, It is deeply worrying that the opposition NDC seeks to use these very unfortunate and tragic occurrences as an opportunity to undermine the peace and progress we have collectively attained in almost 30 years of our democracy, admired and spoken about in the Sub-Region.

As citizens of Ghana and as Youth, it is our duty to denounce and condemn such statements which rather weakens our strength as a nation in fighting atrocious acts.

We must take up the call for social justice in an appropriate manner which ensures that all are protected and we contribute in the collective effort to support the peace process.

Once again, we solemnly commiserate with the families, friends and loved ones of the deceased and wish the injured a speedy recovery.

Thank you
…Signed…

Henry Nana Boakye
(National Youth Organizer, NPP)

 

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