On Monday, judges found former President Nicolas Sarkozy guilty of attempting to bribe a judge and of influence peddling, and sentenced him to three years in prison, with two years suspended.
Sarkozy, who led France from 2007 to 2012, had denied any wrongdoing, alleging that he was the target of a witch hunt by financial investigators who snooped on his affairs with disproportionate means.
Sarkozy, who is no longer in politics but remains popular among conservatives, has 10 days to appeal the decision.
After the late Jacques Chirac, he is the second former president of modern France to be accused of corruption.
Prosecutors told the judges that Sarkozy offered judge Gilbert Azibert a lucrative job in Monaco in exchange for classified details regarding an investigation into claims that he took illicit payments from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for his 2007 presidential campaign.
They discovered this when wiretapping conversations between Sarkozy and his lawyer, Thierry Herzog, after he left office, in connection with another investigation into possible Libyan funding of the same campaign, they said.