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French ex-president Sarkozy placed under investigation


Paris, July 2:

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy Wednesday was placed under investigation for corruption, after he was called for questioning Tuesday.

Sarkozy Tuesday arrived in Nanterre, west of Paris, where the police held him for questioning over suspected influence-peddling, Al Jazeera reported.

Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy

The former French president was held for questioning for 15 hours over suspicions that he used his influence to secure leaked details of an inquiry into alleged irregularities in his 2007 election.

The investigators are trying to find if Sarkozy, with the help of his lawyer Thierry Herzog, attempted to manipulate the course of justice.

The investigators suspect Sarkozy tried to obtain inside information of his mobile phone which was being tapped by judges looking into the alleged financing of his 2007 election campaign by former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Sarkozy is alleged to have been helped to victory in 2007 with up to $70 million provided by Gaddafi, and envelopes stuffed with cash from France’s richest woman, Liliane Bettencourt.

He dismissed the Gaddafi claims as ridiculous and was cleared last year of taking Bettencourt’s money.

Nicolas Sarkozy served as the 23rd President of France from May 16, 2007, until May 15, 2012.