Ex-French President Sarkozy faces corruption trial

A French judge ordered former President Nicolas Sarkozy to stand trial on charges of active corruption and influence peddling. File Photo by Michel Euler/UPI

March 30 (UPI) — A judge Thursday ordered former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to stand trial for allegedly trying to illegally obtain information from a judge.

A French judicial official said Sarkozy, who led the country from 2007 to 2012, must go to trial along with one of his lawyers and a former magistrate on charges of active corruption and influence peddling.

At issue is Sarkozy’s calls to a senior judge who was investigating separate allegations of illegal campaign funding in his 2007 presidential bid.

Each of the three parties ordered to face trial have denied the allegations. Sarkozy’s lawyers announced he will appeal the order.

The court scheduled an appeal hearing for June 25, Sarkozy’s lawyers said in a statement to the Telegraph..

“Nicolas Sarkozy will … calmly wait for the result of the motion for a declaration of invalidity. He does not doubt that once again the truth will triumph,” the statement said.

If his appeal is denied, he will be the first former French president to stand trial for active corruption while in office, the Telegraph reported. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years, and the influence peddling charge has a maximum sentence of five years. Each involve fines.

The trial order adds to Sarkozy’s legal battles. Police detained him earlier this month and questioned him over separate allegations of illegal campaign funding from former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in his 2007 presidential election bid.

He also faces allegations of illegal campaign funding in his 2012 re-election bid in a separate trial.

Sarkozy denies the allegations.


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