Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been set on a trial on Monday for alleged corruption and influence-peddling.
Sarkozy is accused of trying to boost a high magistrate’s likelihood of getting a promotion in Monaco back in 2014 in return for leaked news about a legal enquiry against him.
Sarkozy’s lawyer, Thierry Herzog, and one senior judge, Gilbert Azibert, will also be on also trial.
If found guilty, the former French leader may face up to ten years in jail and a fine of a million euros.
The is of 2014 after researchers from the newly-created Parquet National Financier (National Financial Prosecutor’s Office) tapped Sarkozy and Herzog’s phones overcharge the former president had received millions of euros from the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi to support his strong 2007 official campaign.
At the time, Sarkozy, who was succeeded from office by François Hollande two years prior, was also being studied for supposedly took illegal payments from billionaire Liliane Bettencourt, the heiress to the L’Oréal empire, to support his presidential aspirations.
Phone conversations recorded within Sarkozy and Herzog made investigators suspect the former French leader had tried to use his connections to get the judge Azibert a coveted place in Monaco, in exchange for information about the research into the Bettencourt case.
On January 30 2014, Herzog told Sarkozy of the conversation he’s had with “Gilbert”, a high magistrate not teaching his case, but who apparently “had access” to classified records, according to AFP.
Two days later, Sarkozy demanded his lawyer to be back on a phone line he had under an imaginative name, Paul Bismuth, because he assumed his real number was being tapped.
A few days later, Herzog repeated that Azibert is hopeful about Sarkozy’s prospect over the Bettencourt case. He states that Azibert is engaged in a high-ranking status in Monaco to which Sarkozy replied: “I’ll support him”.