Ex-President Sarkozy faces Trial on Charges of Corruption.
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy is going on trial facing corruption charges and influence peddling.
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy is going on trial facing corruption charges and influence peddling. This case comes in a long series of judicial investigations which have been conducted since the ex-president has left office in 2012.
Sarkozy will be tried in Paris along with his lawyer Thierry Herzog, and the magistrate Gilbert Azibert facing a prison sentence of 10 years and a fine of one million Euro.
The prosecution claims that Sarkozy and his lawyer attempted to illegally get some information about an ongoing investigation from Azibert. They have promised him a job in Monaco in return for the information leakage concerning an allegedly illegal financing of the 2007 presidential compaign by L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.
In 2014, Sarkozy and Herzog, fearing that their phones were tapped by judicial investigators, used secret mobile phones registered under the alias of “Paul Bismuth”. According to the indictment by prosecutors, the ex-president was heard saying “I’ll make him move up” referring to Azibert.
Sarkozy denies any intervention on behalf of Azibert pointing out that the latter never got the promised position and retired in 2014. “Gilbert Azibert got nothing, I made no approach [on his behalf] and I’ve been rejected by the Court of Cassation.” However, the investigative judges consider the offer to be a criminal offence under the French Law even if it has not been fulfilled.
Sarkozy, a lawyer by training, and Herzog denounced their phones-tapping under the pretext that it violates the client-lawyer privilege. However, a top court upheld the use of the recorded conversations as evidence in the case which has come to be known as the “wiretapping case” in France.
Hearings are scheduled until 10 December.
The ex-president will also stand trial along with 13 people in a different case involving his conservative party and a company named Bygmalion. The charges include illegal financing of his 2012 presidential campaign and the use of a special invoicing to conceal illegal overspending.