Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Ex-President Sarkozy Detained for Interrogation over Corruption Charges: Sarkozy Nous Voila !

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Arrivée de Nicolas Sarkozy à l'Office anti-corruption de la Police judiciaire, le 1er juillet à Nanterre.

Arrivée de Nicolas Sarkozy à l’Office anti-corruption de la Police judiciaire, le 1er juillet à Nanterre. (Photo Dominique Faget. AFP)

The Guardian reports,

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been taken into police custody for questioning as part of an inquiry into alleged abuse of power.

The unprecedented step followed the arrest of Sarkozy’s lawyer and two magistrates who are under investigation for allegedly using their influence to obtain information about legal cases against him.

Detectives are trying to establish whether the former leader promised a top-level job in Monaco to a magistrate in return for letting him know whether corruption allegations against him would go to court. Sarkozy denies any wrong-doing.

The police move on Tuesday represents a blow to Sarkozy’s hopes of making a political comeback in 2017. The former president is said to have been hoping to profit from the disarray and lack of leadership in his centre-right UMP party, which is itself also mired in legal investigations, to stand for president again.

(Note: This has been a major story in the French press.It’s often forgotten in the UK that the success of the Front National has affected the classic Right as much as the left).

It is alleged that information obtained from tapping the former leader’s phone conversations with his lawyer, Thierry Herzog, a controversial and unusual step, suggested there had been what was referred to as a “traffic of influence”.

Police were listening in to Sarkozy’s calls as part of a separate investigation into claims he accepted illegal donations from former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi for his 2007 presidential election campaign. Sarkozy served one term in office before being beaten by the Socialist candidate François Holland in 2012.

When he discovered his phone was tapped, Sarkozy allegedly obtained another phone under the pseudonym Paul Bismuth, to talk to his lawyer.

In the taped conversations, detectives allegedly heard information that Herzog had been tipped off by a magistrate about a legal decision over yet another police investigation into whether or not Sarkozy also accepted illegal campaign funds from France’s richest woman, the L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

Comment: in France traditionally these cases, or ‘affaires’,  become so involved and intricate  that they recall the famous remark by  Lord Palmerston,

The Schleswig-Holstein question is so complicated, only three men in Europe have ever understood it. One was Prince Albert, who is dead. The second was a German professor who became mad. I am the third and I have forgotten all about it.

I simply remember this,

Sarkozy Nous Voila !



2 Responses

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  1. Not quite a comment on this article, but the Tendance may be interested to learn that the documentary film:
    JAURÈS EST VIVANT ! (2014) is being shown on arte on Tuesday at French ‘prime time’, i.e. 20.50h, is available live online and can be viewed for a week afterwards on arte’s website.

    The German (presumably) dubbed version, JEAN JAURÈS. DIE FLAMME DES SOZIALISMUS is on arte, also online, at 22.00 on Tuesday, and again for a week afterwards on the arte German website (the German arte primetime slot has been taken by a themed evening on the subject of noise).

    Is it any good?

    French: http://www.arte.tv/guide/fr/048631-000/jaures-est-vivant
    German: http://www.arte.tv/guide/de/048631-000/jean-jaures-die-flamme-des-sozialismus


    July 7, 2014 at 4:00 pm

  2. I shall try and see it on-line.

    I assume it’s part of the commemorations on the anniversary of his assassination – 31 July 1914.

    We plan to mark this with postings, and with due dignity, in the memory of the beloved martyr.

    There are some new books out this year which we intend to get hold of, as far as possible.

    Bruno Fuligni, Le monde selon Jaurès, Tallandier, 2014.
    Gilles Candar – Vincent Duclert, Jean Jaurès, Fayard, 2014.
    Jacqueline Lalouette, Jean Jaurès, Perrin, 2014.
    Magali Lacousse, Gilles Candar, Romain Ducoulombier, Elsa Marguin,Jaurès. Une vie pour l’humanité, Paris, Co-édition Beaux-arts, Archives nationales et Fondation Jean-Jaurès, 2014.

    Andrew Coates

    July 7, 2014 at 4:43 pm

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