UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — In the first court hearing against former French President Nicolas Sarkozy in October 2020 he will stand trial on corruption charges accused of attempting to obtain classified information from a judge, the court announced today.
The indictment is just one of several that Sarkozy, 64, faces. The former president is said to have sought through his lawyer, Thierry Herzog, information classified in 2014 by then-judge Gilbert Azibert in connection with an investigation that had since closed. The exchange included Sarkozy’s help to provide Azibert with a comfortable post in Monaco.
Sarkozy held the post of president from 2007 to 2012. He has denied all charges against him.
In October last year, the French highest court of appeals also rejected Sarkozy’s bid to avoid adjudicating claims over campaign financing. Prosecutors allege he spent almost 43m euros ($ 47.8bn) on his failed re-election bid in 2012, almost double the legal limit of 22.5m euros, using false invoices. If found guilty, Sarkozy could face up to one year in prison and a fine. No date has yet been set for this as a separate judgment.
Further charges include the acceptance of Sarkozy’s millions of euros by Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi for his first presidential campaign in 2007.
Legal proceedings this fall are expected to run from October 5th to October 22nd. Sarkozy is the first former French president to be tried on corruption charges. The first former president to stand trial was Jacques Chirac, who was found guilty in 2011 of embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds while he was mayor of Paris.
The wiretapping of telephone conversations between Sarkozy and Herzog, conducted as part of an investigation into allegations of financing Libya, prompted charges that were set for trial this fall.
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