Earlier, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office announced criminal charges against former US President Donald Trump related to payments made to silence claims of his purported extramarital affairs with adult film star Stormy Daniels. This marks the first time a former US president has faced such charges.
While Trump may be facing the prospect of criminal charges, he is not the first leader on the global stage to do so. Many other democracies have prosecuted their current or former leaders.
In this article, we take a glance through the list of some other global leaders and former leaders to have been charged or put behind bars.
South Korea – Lee Myung-bak, Park Guen-hye
South Korea, known for its past practice of prosecuting former leaders, saw former President Lee Myung-bak’s 17-year prison term for corruption being reduced through a presidential pardon last year.
In 2017, former President Park Geun-hye, who was the first woman to hold the position, was also handed a 18-year jail sentence by a court for her involvement in a corruption scandal that caused her impeachment. However, she was also pardoned in 2021.
France – Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac
Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president, was handed a three-year prison sentence in 2021 for attempting to bribe a judge, making him the first leader to face such a sentence. However, two of the years were suspended, and he has yet to serve any time as he has appealed the sentence. The appeal hearing is expected to take several years.
In 2011, former French President Jacques Chirac was also found guilty of corruption and received a two-year suspended jail sentence.
Pakistan – Imran Khan
Last month, authorities in Islamabad pressed charges against ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan, and numerous supporters. They were accused of multiple crimes, including terrorism, following a violent confrontation between the ousted leader’s followers and security personnel in Islamabad the day before.
Brazil – Lula
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, also known as Lula, served two terms as president of Brazil until he was convicted of accepting a bribe from a local construction firm in exchange for contracts with Petrobras, the country’s state oil company.
Following his conviction, the former metal worker was imprisoned for 580 days and barred from running in the 2018 election. However, his conviction was later overturned, allowing him to make a remarkable political comeback as he defeated his opponent Jair Bolsonaro last year to become the new Brazil President.
Italy – Silvio Berlusconi
Having faced over 30 criminal court cases since entering politics in 1994, the ex-Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has been acquitted of bribery charges in three separate trials in 2021, 2022, and 2023. Additionally, he was also acquitted of charges relating to underage prostitution and abuse of office in 2015.
As per recent reports, the former Italian Prime Minister is currently admitted in a Milan hospital with heart condition and breathing difficulties.
Source: Financial Express