9 October 2018

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday lost his first appeal against trial over influence peddling and corruption charges. He was president from 2007 to 2012.

He was accused of receiving illegal campaign donations in 2007, in cash from billionaire Liliane Bettencourt. In 2014 he was questioned by police over claims he had promised a prestigious role in Monaco to a high-ranking judge, Gilbert Azibert, in exchange for information about the investigation into alleged illegal campaign funding.

During 2011 Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif-al-Islam Gaddafi, said in an interview that the Libyan state had donated €50 million to Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign in exchange for access and favours by Sarkozy.

At the end of the 2000s, Sarkozy ended his friendship with Gaddafi. France had a role in overthrowing Gaddafi’s rule, as well as his death. After his armoured vehicle had been struck by a French missile, Gaddafi was captured by his opponents and killed.

Sarkozy’s lawyers had argued that magistrates investigating the alleged secret Libyan funding tapped his conversations with them between September 2013 and March 2014.

Thierry Herzog, one of his lawyers, would also face trial for violation of the confidentiality of investigations, concealment of the crime, active bribery and active trading in influence.

Sarkozy’s predecessor, Jacques Chirac, was convicted in 2011, of misusing public funds by giving phantom jobs to his political allies.