Nicolas Sarkozy to stand trial for corruption

01 April, 2018, 02:39 | Author: Constance French
  • Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to face trial'for corruption

Sarkozy and his lawyers argued that the wiretapping violated attorney-client privilege and that the secretly monitored communications should be deemed inadmissible in court. He has denied wrongdoing.

"Nicolas Sarkozy will ... calmly wait for the result of the motion for a declaration of invalidity". According to French media, those monitored phones revealed, in 2014, communications with a judge, Gilbert Azibert, to whom Sarkozy - planning a 2016 presidential run at the time - allegedly promised a plum position in Monaco in exchange for information about other pending legal proceedings against him. "He does not doubt that once again the truth will triumph", the statement said.

French investigators are examining the 59-year-old businessman's alleged involvement in the 2009 sale of a villa in the French Alps, for around 10 million euros, to a Libya investment fund managed by former Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's ex-chief of staff Bashir Saleh.

Thursday's development came just over a week after Sarkozy, 63, was told he was being formally treated as a suspect in the election campaign investigation.

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Mr Takieddine claims he delivered three suitcases stuffed with cash to Paris between 2006 and 2007, and handed them over to Mr Sarkozy in the interior ministry when he was a minister.

A former minister and close ally of Sarkozy, Brice Hortefeux, was also being questioned by police in relation to the Libya investigation, another source close to the probe said. It is unclear whether or not the Azibert ever provided the requested information, however, Azibert has been ordered to stand for trial alongside Sarkozy. As president, he would have been covered by immunity from prosecution for the length of his term.

Charges were pressed after investigators used phone-taps to look into separate allegations that the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi funded Mr Sarkozy's campaign.


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