Former French president Sarkozy sentenced to jail

France's former president Nicolas Sarkozy was found guilty of bribery on Monday (March 1) and sentenced to three years in jail, with two years suspended.

Judges found him guilty of trying to bribe a judge and of influence-peddling.

The former president - who led France from 2007 to 2012 - had denied any wrongdoing.

He said he was the victim of a witch-hunt by financial prosecutors who used excessive means to snoop on his affairs.

Prosecutors said Sarkozy had offered to secure a plum job in Monaco for a judge in return for confidential information about an inquiry into allegations that he had accepted illegal payments from L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for his 2007 presidential campaign.

They said this came to light while they were wiretapping conversations between Sarkozy and his lawyer, in relation to another investigation.

Sarkozy has 10 days to appeal the ruling.

He is the second former president in modern France, after the late Jacques Chirac, to be convicted of corruption.