France's Sarkozy Set to Face Trial for Corruption, Misuse of Influence

© REUTERS / Eric Feferberg/PoolNicolas Sarkozy, former French president and candidate for the French conservative presidential primary, reacts after partial results in the first round of the French center-right presidential primary election at his campaign headquarters in Paris, France, November 20, 2016.
Nicolas Sarkozy, former French president and candidate for the French conservative presidential primary, reacts after partial results in the first round of the French center-right presidential primary election at his campaign headquarters in Paris, France, November 20, 2016. - Sputnik International
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In 2014, France's ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy was detained in the course of an investigation into alleged funding abuses during his presidential campaign in 2007. Sarkozy has denied all the accusations leveled against him.

France's financial prosecutor has confirmed that Sarkozy will be sent to court for corruption and misuse of influence to secure leaked details of a probe into alleged violations in his campaign during 2007 presidential elections.

READ MORE: Sarkozy Vows to Fight Against 'Gaddafi Gang' Amid Barring Order

Sarkozy's lawyers said in a statement that they would appeal the decision to send him to court.

The French pilot of an Air Force Mirage 2000 jet fighter prepares to take off for a mission to Libya, at Solenzara 126 Air Base, on Corsica Island. (File) - Sputnik International
Guilt Trip: Was Intervention in Libya Sarkozy's Bid to Hide Campaign Funding?
This case is known as the Bygmalion scandal and focuses on tapped phone-calls in which the former president allegedly attempted to influence judges who were probing into suspected illegal funding of his presidential campaign.

The ex-president will stand trial along with his lawyer and friend Thierry Herzog and former Judge Gilbert Azibert, whom Sarkozy allegedly offered a high-ranking role in Monaco in exchange for information on the 2010 funding case — the so-called Bettencourt affair. In that case, Sarkozy was accused of receiving illegal campaign donations in 2007 from L'Oreal heiress and billionaire Liliane Bettencourt.

READ MORE: Expert Explains What Future Holds for Sarkozy Amid Libya Investigation

In a separate investigation looking into alleged Libyan financing of Sarkozy's 2007 election campaign, France's ex-president was indicted on charges of "passive bribery, illegal financing of election campaign and concealment of Libyan public funds." In November 2016, French-Lebanese businessman Ziad Takieddine told France's Mediapart broadcaster that in 2006-2007 he had personally handed over to Sarkozy and his chief of staff three suitcases filled with euro notes. According to Takieddine, the cash amounted to $6.2 million and came from the late Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi. French newspaper Le Monde reported that the head of Libya's sovereign wealth fund, Bashir Saleh, confirmed that Gaddafi financed the French president.

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