The verdict against former President Nicolas Sarkozy is a signal. France’s ruling class has long been used to going unpunished — The verdict serves democracy, says Barbara Wesel. It’s not as if Nicolas Sarkozy has to go to jail with drug dealers and car thieves. If his sentence is upheld on appeal, he can stay in the comfort of his own home with an ankle bracelet. His wife, the singer-songwriter Carla Bruni, can play him a song on the guitar with a chorus that goes: “You can do a lot of things, just don’t get caught.” So much piled up over time in the Sarkozy era. While the French were amused by the details of his love life, his political activities only emerged later. He was convicted because the court considers it proven that he bribed an attorney general in 2014 to obtain information about an investigation.