Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will face trial over charges he misused his influence to secure leaked details of an inquiry into alleged irregularities in his 2007 election campaign, a source close to the investigation said on Thursday.
The case came about after investigators used phone-taps to examine separate allegations that late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi funded Sarkozy’s campaign and began to suspect he had kept tabs on a separate case through a network of informants. Sarkozy was president from 2007 to 2012 but was defeated by Socialist Francois Hollande when he ran for re-election. He has since faced a series of investigations into alleged corruption, fraud, favoritism and campaign-funding irregularities.
Based on the intercepts, Sarkozy is accused of having discussed offering a promotion to a prosecutor in return for tip-offs on an investigation into accusations that his former party treasurer and others exploited the mental frailty of France’s richest woman, Liliane Bettencourt, to extract political donations in cash.
Sarkozy reportedly used the alias “Paul Bismuth” on the intercepted calls. Gosh, who does that sound like?