Former French President, Sarkozy To Face Corruption Trial

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Former French President, Sarkozy To Face Corruption Trial

They have all denied wrongdoing. Sarkozy's team said he will appeal against the decision.

The announcement came just a week after Mr. Sarkozy, 63, was placed under formal investigation in another case, involving suspicions that his 2007 election campaign had received illegal financial support from the Libyan government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

What is Sarkozy accused of?

Prosecutors say Mr. Sarkozy sought to illegally obtain information from Gilbert Azibert, then a magistrate at the court, including by promising to use his influence to secure a job for Mr. Azibert in Monaco.

The hard-charging conservative politician allegedly offered to help the judge get promoted in exchange for information about the investigation into his campaign. Sarkozy's lawyers had previously argued that magistrates investigating the alleged secret Libyan funding exceeded their powers and went on a "fishing expedition" by tapping his conversations between September 2013 and March 2014, breaching lawyer-client privilege.He used the mobile phone account under the alias "Paul Bismuth" only for calls with lawyer Thierry Herzog.

Nicolas Sarkozy former French president and candidate for the French conservative presidential primary reacts after partial results in the first round of the French center-right presidential primary election at his campaign headquarters in Paris France
REUTERS Eric Feferberg PoolEx-French President Sarkozy to Face Trial for Corruption and Misuse of Influence

Sarkozy was president from 2007 to 2012 but was defeated by Socialist Francois Hollande when he ran for re-election. He was eventually cleared.

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

In January French businessman Alexandre Djouhri, suspected by investigators of funnelling money from Gaddafi to finance Sarkozy's campaign, was arrested in Britain and granted bail after he appeared in a London court.

He is challenging an earlier order to stand trial on charges of illicit spending overruns during his failed 2012 campaign. In that case, his conservative party and a company named Bygmalion are accused of using a special invoice system to hide unauthorized overspending. 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.

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