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Ex-French President Sarkozy to face corruption trial

June 19, 2019

Nicolas Sarkozy will face trial in the coming months in a corruption and influence peddling case. The former French president has been plagued by multiple scandals since losing his 2012 re-election bid.

Nicolas Sarkozy
Image: picture-alliance/EPA/E. Lemaistre

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will face charges of corruption and influence peddling.

Sarkozy lost an appeal at the Court of Cassation on Tuesday, meaning he, his lawyer Thierry Herzog and former judge Gilbert Azibert will face trial.

The case centers on tapped conversations between Herzog and Azibert that allegedly involved Sarkozy offering to help promote the judge in return for information about another inquiry looking into illegal payments from L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for his 2007 presidential campaign.

The investigation also revealed that Herzog and Sarkozy communicated with phones using false identities.

Sarkozy has denied the allegations. He was cleared of the Bettencourt allegations in 2013 and has argued he should not be charged because Azibert never got the promotion.

Investigators believe the deal never went through because Sarkozy and Herzog learned their phones had been tapped.

Sarkozy has been embroiled in multiple criminal investigations since losing his 2012 re-election bid.

The Court of Cassation last month rejected an appeal to avoid another trial for illegal campaign finance. 

Prosecutors accuse Sarkozy of spending twice the legal limit during the 2012 presidential campaign using false invoices.

Sarkozy claimed he was unaware of the fraud at the public relations firm Bygmalion.

He is also under investigation for allegedly accepting campaign financing in 2007 from then-Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi.

cw/sms (AFP, Reuters)

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