Ex-French president Sarkozy to stand trial for corruption
Almaty. June 20. KazTAG - Nicolas Sarkozy is set to face trial on charges of corruption and influence peddling after his last appeal was rejected by France's highest court, his lawyer said, reports AFP.
Sarkozy will likely have to appear in court in the coming months, sources close to the case told AFP on June 19, a day after the country's Court of Cassation - which rules on questions of law - ruled that a trial was justified for Sarkozy as well as his lawyer Thierry Herzog and a former judge, Gilbert Azibert.
The influence-peddling case centres on conversations between Herzog and Azibert that were tapped by investigators looking into claims that Sarkozy accepted illicit payments from the L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for his 2007 presidential campaign.
They suspect Sarkozy and his lawyer were seeking information on developments in the case, with Sarkozy offering Azibert a plum job in Monaco in exchange.
The inquiry also revealed that Sarkozy and Herzog often communicated via cellphones obtained under false identities - with Sarkozy using the name Paul Bismuth.
He was cleared over the Bettencourt allegations in 2013, and has argued that Azibert never got the Monaco job, meaning he should not have to face trial.
But investigators believe the deal fell through because Sarkozy and his lawyer learned their phones were being tapped.
Photo source: afp