Ex-French president Sarkozy to stand trial

Ex-French president Sarkozy to stand trial
# 29 March 2018 20:28 (UTC +04:00)

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is set to stand trial on corruption and influence peddling charges, according to media reports Thursday citing prosecutors, APA reports quoting AA.

Sarkozy, who served as president between 2007 and 2012, is accused of using his influence to secure leaked details of an inquiry into alleged irregularities in his 2007 presidential election campaign.

He allegedly offered a magistrate a lucrative job in exchange for information on the probe.

The case is based on evidence from wiretapped phone calls in 2014 in which Sarkozy and his lawyer Thierry Herzog were receiving inside information about an investigation into whether Sarkozy accepted illegal cash donations to his 2007 election campaign from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

The wiretaps caught Sarkozy and Herzog discussing offering a well-paying job in Monaco to Gilbert Azibert -- then a senior magistrate at France's highest court, the Court of Cassation.

The judge and Sarkozy's lawyer have also been ordered to stand trial. They have all denied any wrongdoing. Sarkozy's team said he will appeal against the decision.

In a separate case, Sarkozy, 63, was placed earlier this month under official investigation over alleged illegal financing of his 2007 presidential campaign by the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

He is accused of passive corruption, illicit campaign financing and misappropriation of Libyan public funds.

Prosecutors also recommended in September 2016 that Sarkozy and 13 others stand trial over an alleged multi-million-euro fraud related to the illegal financing of his 2012 presidential election campaign.