After arriving in the Chadian capital N'Djamena to intervene on the Europeans' behalf, Sarkozy said he would rather see the French people tried in French courts.
He said there would be discussions between their judiciaries to find "within weeks, an outcome which respects Chadian justice and gives full guarantees to all parties".
"France has confidence in the Chadian state and the Chadian justice system," he said at a joint news conference with Idriss Deby, his Chadian counterpart.
"Relations between Chad and France are good and ... this rather lamentable escapade has nothing to do with the deployment of the European force in Chad."
France, the former colonial power, has troops stationed in Chad and will provide about half of an EU peacekeeping force numbering up to 3,000 troops that will deploy in the violent eastern region in coming weeks to protect Sudanese and Chadian refugees.
Earlier the seven Europeans, tired but relieved, were driven under military escort from the prison in the capital N'Djamena to the main law courts, where they were formally released.
"I'm fine, I'm fine, happy," French photojournalist Jean-Daniel Guillou told reporters before a Chadian soldier asked him to stop talking.