Friday, November 13, 2015
Claude Guéant, once Nicolas Sarkozy's right-hand man and interior minister, has been convicted of misuse of public funds and given a suspended sentence of two years. But France is so inured to corruption in high places that no one is really shocked by the pettiness and venality of people entrusted with enforcing its laws. And like other ministerial criminals, he will do no jail time, despite being called the "instigator" of a scheme to defraud the public treasury. Perhaps he considers the blot on his reputation a small price to pay for the years of comfort his peculation afforded him. Of course he still faces charges in connection with alleged fraud in a sale of paintings, so perhaps he won't escape real punishment altogether.