News Column

Nicolas Sarkozy Charged With Corruption

July 2, 2014

EFE Ingles

Paris, July 2, (EFE).- Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was charged Wednesday with influence peddling and corruption after being questioned by judiciary police for 15 hours.

Sarkozy, 59, is the first former French president who has had to declare as a detainee in a criminal investigation, in which if convicted he faces up to 10 years in jail.

After the accusation, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said "no one is above the law", adding that Sarkozy should be treated as innocent until proven otherwise.

The Premier also said that the justice system is carrying the case out independently, without any interference from his government.

Also facing the same charges are Sarkozy's lawyer Thierry Herzog, as well as high-ranking judge Gilbert Azibert.

The judiciary probe seeks to determine whether the former president sought, with the support of his lawyer, to acquire insider information from Azibert on a case involving him being investigated, in return for promising the latter a top position.

Sarkozy has been accused with illegal dealings linked to the financing of his 2007 and 2012 election campaigns.

The move came amid growing rumors that he was planning to resume his political career next fall and retake the leadership of his UMP party.

Members of Sarkozy's entourage told the French newspaper Le Monde today that his current difficulties have strengthened his resolve to return to the political arena.

The former president might make his intentions clear when he appears tonight in an interview with the French television channel TF1 and radio Europe 1. EFE

SM/SS/IK

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Original headline: Former French president Sarkozy charged with corruption


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Source: (c) 2014 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.


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