The former French President reportedly accepted illicit payments from the L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for his 2007 presidential race. That fact will be investigated more thoroughly during the next trial, AFP reported on Wednesday.
The ex-President will face trial for corruption, Nicolas Sarkozy’s lawyers haven’t yet commented on this news. On Tuesday, France’s Court of Cassation ruled that a trial was justified not only for Sarkozy but for his lawyer Thierry Herzog and a former judge, Gilbert Azibert.
The French judicial system has zero-tolerance to corruption, so, the trial will now go ahead. The central part of the investigation is the illicit payment, which then-candidate Sarkozy accepted from the French billionaire Bettencourt.
Bettencourt case was closed in 2013 after Mr Sarkozy and his lawyer made several suspicious moves to seek information on developments in the case. Reportedly, the former President offered Mr Azibert a plum job in Monaco in exchange for his ‘good services.’
In 2014, Sarkozy became the second president who faced trial. In 2011, Jacques Chirac was given a two-year suspended sentence for misuse of public funds during his time as mayor of the French capital.
Nicolas Sarkozy denies all the allegation in corruption, while prosecutors claim him spending nearly €43 million on his lavish re-election bid. In fact, under the rules, the limit for such a campaign is €22.5 million. Additionally, using fake invoices made Sarkozy’s position more fragile.