© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, was detained briefly by the police and quizzed by financial investigators in a corruption probe that could smear his political chances in 2017.
Reports say that the former president was detained for questioning for alleged organised corruption and influence peddling offences Tuesday at the headquarters of the judicial police in the Paris suburb of Nanterre.
Sarkozy’s lawyer, Thierry Herzog, and a magistrate, Gilbert Azibert, were also held for questioning.
The former president allegedly offered preferred jobs to judicial officials, particularly some magistrates, to access information about charges against him.
French media is reporting that Sarkozy was questioned in an investigation linked to financing for his 2007 presidential campaign, notably allegations that late Libyan leader, Moammar Gadhafi gave Sarkozy millions of euros in illegal campaign donations.
The case centers around whether Sarkozy and his lawyer were kept informed about the investigation by a friendly magistrate, Azibert. Sarkozy and Herzog have denied wrongdoing.
However, investigators are said to be basing their suspicions at least in part on tapped phone conversations between Sarkozy and his lawyer.
The tapping also raised questions about the limits between investigative needs and individual privacy.