French Ex-President Sarkozy Held In Corruption Probe

The former president turned himself into police custody Tuesday for questioning over irregularities in his 2007 campaign funding.
Posted at 8:34 AM, Jul 01, 2014

In what must be a first in French politics, former President Nicolas Sarkozy has turned himself into police custody. (Via Flickr / Junge Union Deutschland)

The 59-year-old arrived in suburb of Paris Tuesday for questioning over alleged corruption. This, a day after his several of his lawyers were detained. (Via Euronews

It’s all part of an inquiry into whether Sarkozy promised a government job to a judge in exchange for inside information about an investigation over his 2007 election campaign funding.  

Of course, the French have become pretty accustomed to these sort of headlines about their former president in the two years since he left office. (Via Le Monde, Le Figaro, France 24) 

There were reports former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi helped fund Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign. (Via The Telegraph


And a court later dropped an investigation into whether Sarkozy exploited France’s richest woman — L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt — for campaign donations. (Via France 24

Even though he denies all wrongdoing, the corruption scandal could dash any hopes Sarkozy had of making a potential comeback in 2017. It’s been widely rumored the ex-French leader was contemplating a return to politics, including a bid for his former job. (Via BFM-TVITN

"It forms part of a picture of an ongoing series of revelations — some of which are undoubtedly published and made prominent by his enemies." (Via BBC

The mayor of Nice and a key Sarkozy ally wrote on Twitter Tuesday: "Never has any former president been the victim of such treatment, such an outburst of hatred.”

While a former French president turning himself into police custody is thought to be unprecedented, it wouldn’t be the first time a former French president ran into some legal trouble.

His predecessor Jacques Chirac was convicted in 2011 on embezzlement charges and given a suspended prison sentence. (Via Time

Under French law, Sarkozy can be held for up to 48 hours without being formally charged with a crime.