1 July 2014
Nicolas Sarkozy was the 23 president of France from 16 May 2007 to 15 May 2012. Under Jacques Chirac’s presidency he was Minister of Interior.In in Jean-Pierre Raffarin’s government he served as Minister of Finances. In Raffarin’s last government he was again Minister of Finances. In Dominique de Villepin’s government he was again made the Minister of Interior. He was a well rounded politician when he assumed power as President.
Mr.Sarkozy is accused of getting inside information regarding the investigations about the alleged financing of his 2007 election campaign by former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. It was speculated that Colonel Gaddafi gave him 50 million Euros for his election campaign. It was also alleged that he received envelopes stuffed with cash from France’s richest woman, L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. He was cleared last year of taking Bettencourt’s money. Gaddafi investigation is still going on and it was in this case the judges obtained authorisation to tap his mobile phone. Leaked information from a mobile phone which he registered under an assumed name suggest that he had sought a friendly judge to influence the outcome of the Bettencourt case in return for a lucrative post in Monaco. He also had prior information about the planned police raid of his office. Such interference in the judicial process is regarded in the French law as “influence peddling” which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.
Mr.Sarkozy was questioned by investigators at their office in Nanterre, west of Paris over allegations of influence pedalling. His interrogation follows the arrest of two senior magistrates and Mr.Sarkozy’s lawyer.
Mr.Sarkozy attacked the tapping of his phone was like the style of East Germany’s notorious Stasi secret police. The recording of the client-lawyer conversation also has come under criticism in the legal circles.