Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy ordered to stand trial for attempt to influence judge in corruption case

According to prosecutors, Sarkozy's lawyer tried to get information from Azibert over the status of a campaign financing investigation.

AFP March 29, 2018 22:39:27 IST
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy ordered to stand trial for attempt to influence judge in corruption case

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been ordered to stand trial on charges of corruption and influence peddling involving a judge from whom he sought information about an investigation, a legal source told AFP on Thursday.

Sarkozy's lawyer Thierry Herzog and former judge Gilbert Azibert must also stand trial in the case dating back to 2014, the source said, confirming a report in French daily Le Monde.

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy ordered to stand trial for attempt to influence judge in corruption case

File image of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. AP

According to prosecutors, Sarkozy's lawyer tried to get information from Azibert over the status of a campaign financing investigation.

In that inquiry, Sarkozy was suspected of accepting illicit payments from the L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for his 2007 presidential campaign.

He was cleared in 2013 of taking advantage of the elderly woman, but wiretaps on Sarkozy's phone suggested he had discussed with Herzog giving Azibert, a magistrate from a top appeals court, a job in Monaco in exchange for information on the Bettencourt case.

Sarkozy has argued that the job never materialised, meaning he is not guilty of anything, but investigators believe the deal fell through because the former president and his lawyer learned their phones were being tapped.

Herzog and Azibert are also facing charges of violation of confidentiality.

The decision is the latest legal problem for Sarkozy, whose attempt to mount a comeback for the presidency failed in November 2016, when he could not secure the backing of his own party during primaries.

Last week the former president, who already faces a trial for illegal campaign financing in his 2012 re-election campaign, was charged with accepting millions of euros in funding from late Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

As Europe reels under second wave of coronavirus, does Chinese response hold lessons for the world?
World

As Europe reels under second wave of coronavirus, does Chinese response hold lessons for the world?

European authorities are facing the dilemma of calibrating a response that meets the urgent health care requirements and at the same time appeases a public increasingly experiencing fatigue about COVID-19 restrictions

Charlie Hebdo's cartoons on Prophet Mohammad have France jostling between freedom of speech and Islamophobia
World

Charlie Hebdo's cartoons on Prophet Mohammad have France jostling between freedom of speech and Islamophobia

The French Constitution defines the state only as secular, but it doesn't delineate the boundaries of this secularism

France star Paul Pogba rubbishes international retirement rumours as 'fake news'
Sports

France star Paul Pogba rubbishes international retirement rumours as 'fake news'

"Unacceptable, fake news," Pogba, a converted Muslim, posted on Instagram with a screenshot of the article that reported his retirement.