Ex-French president Sarkozy to stand trial

Elias Hubbard
March 29, 2018

A source close to the investigation said that along with Sarkozy, Herzog, and the prosecutor would also face trial on the same charges.

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

Sarkozy has faced multiple corruption investigations since leaving office in 2012.

Sending Mr Sarkozy to trial, investigating judges have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to show that the 63-year-old ex-president attempted to bribe Gilbert Azibert, a magistrate, with a promise of promotion.

According to prosecutors, Sarkozy's lawyer tried to get information from Azibert over the status of a campaign financing investigation. Sarkozy's team said he will appeal against the decision. Sarkozy, who is embroiled in several criminal investigations, denies any wrongdoing and has vowed to have all cases dismissed.

In a separate case, the ex-president is accused of receiving campaign funding from late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

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

Under French law, a person convicted of active corruption can face up to 10 years in prison and a 1 million euro fine, or about $1.2 million, while influence peddling can be punished by up to five years in prison and a €500,000 fine, or about $615,000. None have led to convictions, but the developments in the Libya and influence-peddling cases signal that Mr. Sarkozy's legal woes are rising to a climax.

Sarkozy and his Republicans party have repeatedly called investigations into him politically motivated."All this energy wasted on ridiculous matters at a time when all our legal means should be dedicated to fighting terrorism", Olivier Marleix, Republicans lawmaker and long-time supporter of Sarkozy, told Reuters.

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

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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