France's ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy ordered to face trial on corruption charges


Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to face trial for corruption and misusing his influence.

In the latest case, a judicial official said judges issued an order for Mr Sarkozy to stand trial on accusations that he tried to illegally get information from a judge about an investigation targeting him. His goal, it is alleged, was to gain information on an inquiry involving his relations with Liliane Bettencourt, the late heiress to the L'Oréal empire.

Sarkozy's lawyers had previously argued that magistrates investigating the alleged secret Libyan funding exceeded their powers and went on a "fishing expedition" by tapping his conversations with them between September 2013 and March 2014, breaching lawyer-client privilege.

Speaking to CNN affiliate BFM, Sarkozy's lawyer Jacqueline Laffont slammed the decision to put Sarkozy on trial, suggesting wiretaps were not enough to open proceedings. "He does not doubt that once again the truth will triumph, " the statement read.

The questions relate to the financing of his 2007 presidential campaign, which he won, according to Le Monde. He's accused of securing leaked details of a probe into the alleged illicit funding of the presidential campaign.

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Sarkozy has said he's been unfairly targeted by investigators for political reasons.

In that case, Sarkozy says there is no evidence to support such a claim.

In the Mediapart interview, Takieddine said that he was given 5 million euros in Tripoli by Kadafi's intelligence chief in late 2006 and 2007 and that he gave the money to Sarkozy and Gueant in suitcases on three occasions.

Mr Sarkozy has already been ordered to stand trial over the financing of his 2012 re-election campaign, when he lost to Francois Hollande.

Sarkozy failed to win his party's primary for the 2017 presidential election and has largely stayed out of politics since then.