In French law, the notion of being "brought to trial" doesn't mean that the person in question is actually guilty. Consequently, this assessment does not imply that Sarkozy will be prevented from competing as a candidate in next year's presidential election. But it doesn't render his theoretical candidacy any easier. For the moment, there are at least three powerful candidates from Sarko's party in the forthcoming competition. The cartoonist Plantu imagines this situation as follows:
Candidates in the water: Fillon, Juppé and Copé.