Nicolas Sarkozy loses first appeal over corruption trial

Mr Sarkozy is suspected of helping a prosecutor secure a promotion in return for leaked information.

(FILES) In this file photograph taken on October 1, 2016, Nicolas Sarkozy, former French president and France's right-wing Les Republicains (LR - The Republicans) party candidate for the LR primaries ahead of the 2017 presidential election, attends a campaign meeting in Les Sables-d'Olonne, western France. A court will decide on October 8, 2018, on the appeal of Nicolas Sarkozy against the indictment of the national prosecutor's office (PNF) who claimed his trial in the case of "corruption" and "trading in influence" at the Court of Cassation which was revealed by a phone tap. / AFP / JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER
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Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday lost a first appeal against facing trial over influence peddling and corruption charges and must await a second appeal before knowing if he will be sent to court, the Paris prosecutor's office said.

Mr Sarkozy, who was president from 2007 to 2012, is suspected of helping a prosecutor get promoted in return for leaked information about a separate criminal inquiry.

Investigators were using phone-taps to examine allegations that late Libyan leader Muanmar Gaddafi funded Mr Sarkozy's election campaign when they began to suspect the former French leader had used a network of informants to keep tabs on the criminal case.

It was unclear when the next appeal decision would come.


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Mr Sarkozy was defeated by Socialist Francois Hollande when he ran for re-election in 2012. He has since faced a series of investigations into alleged corruption, fraud, favoritism and campaign-funding irregularities.

Under French law, a suspect is not formally charged with a crime unless he is sent to trial. Influence-peddling can be punished in France by up to five years in prison and a fine of 500,000 euros ($Dh2100000).