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Friday 22 November 2019

French ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy to face corruption trial

It is one of multiple corruption cases targeting Mr Sarkozy.

Nicolas Sarkozy can appeal against the order (Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport)
Nicolas Sarkozy can appeal against the order (Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport)

By Angela Charlton, Associated Press

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been ordered to stand trial on charges of corruption and influence peddling.

It is one of multiple corruption cases targeting Mr Sarkozy, and marks the second case so far in which he is being sent to trial.

He has denied wrongdoing in all of them.

In the latest case, a judicial official said judges issued an order for Mr Sarkozy to stand trial on accusations that he tried to illegally get information from a judge about an investigation targeting him.

The former president, 63, can appeal against the order.

In a separate case, Mr Sarkozy was given preliminary charges last week of getting illegal campaign financing in 2007 from late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Mr Sarkozy’s lawyer Thierry Herzog is also being ordered to stand trial, along with former magistrate Gilbert Azibert.

Mr Sarkozy has objected to the case because part of the investigation is based on information gleaned from tapped phone conversations between him and his lawyer.

Both are suspected of promising the magistrate a job in Monaco in exchange for leaking information about an investigation into suspected illegal financing of Mr Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign by France’s richest woman, L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

Last year, a judge ordered a trial for Mr Sarkozy and 13 others on charges of illegal financing of his 2012 presidential campaign.

In that case, his conservative party and a company named Bygmalion are accused of using a special invoice system to conceal unauthorised overspending.

Mr Sarkozy appealed against that order to stand trial, and a decision on his appeal is pending.

The Gaddafi investigation, meanwhile, is ongoing.

Mr Sarkozy has said he has been unfairly targeted by investigators for political reasons.

He failed to win his party’s primary for the 2017 presidential election and has largely stayed out of politics since then.

PA Media

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