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Sarkozy: The National Finance Department is calling for a trial for Sarkozy

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – ALFREDO ESTRELLA – | Nicolas Sarkozy in Mexico City on 1 September 2017

The National Finance Department (PNF) is demanding the referral to a correctional court of former President Nicolas Sarkozy as well as his lawyer and a former magistrate in the case of tapping, revealed Friday the daily newspaper Le Parisien.

According to the newspaper, the prosecutor’s office is calling for a lawsuit against the former head of state for “corruption, trading in influence and concealment of professional secrecy”. He also calls for the dismissal of his lawyer Thierry Herzog and the now retired General Counsel, Gilbert Azibert, who has also been indicted in the case over three years ago.

The prosecutor Éliane Houlette signed Thursday this indictment, which has not yet been notified to the main interested parties, says Le Parisien. It is now up to the investigating judges to take their decision.

Joined by AFP, the PNF did not wish to make any comment.

“It must be noted that the indictment was circulated in the press before it was even brought to the attention of the parties,” reacted lawyers of former president Jacqueline Laffont and Pierre Haik to AFP. “It is rather regrettable and comical in a procedure in which violations of the secrecy of investigation and investigation have been criticized,” they added.

Nicolas Sarkozy, already sent to court in another case, is suspected in this case of having tried to obtain secret information in 2014, via his lawyer Thierry Herzog, from a senior magistrate of the Court of Cassation, Gilbert Azibert, in a proceeding in which he sought restitution of his agendas seized in the Bettencourt case. A case that ended for him by a non-place in 2013.

At the origin of the case, telephone tapping of the former president ordered in another investigation, that on charges of Libyan financing of his campaign in 2007.

In conversations with his lawyer, Nicolas Sarkozy seems to commit himself to intervene in favor of the magistrate to obtain a position of prestige in Monaco. But after repeating on February 25 that he will do this, he explains to Thierry Herzog the next day that he finally gave up.

For the investigators, this change can be explained by the fact that the two men have just learned that their unofficial telephones, including the one opened under the name of Paul Bismuth, were tapped.

The two magistrates in charge of this investigation had notified the end of their investigation in October 2016, after a long judicial battle.

Nicolas Sarkozy was dismissed in early February before the court for the illegal financing of his 2012 election campaign, along with 13 other protagonists of the Bygmalion affair. The date of their trial has not yet been fixed, as appeals have been lodged against the order for reference which only one of the two investigating judges has signed.

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