Former French President Sarkozy to face corruption trial

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will face a trial on charges of corruption and influence peddling, a source close to the case told CNN on Thursday.

Sarkozy is suspected of attempting to obtain secret information in 2014 via his lawyer Thierry Herzog from a prosecutor about the status of an investigation into campaign financing.

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These suspicions were revealed by media outlets Le Monde and Mediapart, indicating Sarkozy's lawyer allegedly offered to help prosecutor Gilbert Azibert to obtain a prestigious posting in Monaco, in exchange for the secret information. Both Herzog and Azibert deny the claims.

Sarkozy, leader of France from 2007 until 2012, has been dogged by accusations of financial wrongdoing.

Speaking to CNN affiliate BFM, Sarkozy's lawyer Jacqueline Laffont slammed the decision to put Sarkozy on trial, suggesting wiretaps were not enough to open proceedings.

Laffont said Sarkozy's lawyers had filed a challenge to the proceedings.

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"We are doing so on a very serious basis," she told the BFM.

Thursday's decision to send this case to trial comes after Sarkozy, in a separate case, was put under formal investigation on March 20 under allegations of accepting money from Libyans for his 2007 presidential campaign.

In that case, Sarkozy says there is no evidence to support such a claim.

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"I am accused without any physical evidence," Sarkozy wrote in an opinion piece published Thursday in French Newspaper Le Figaro.

Credit: CNN