France - 
Article published the Wednesday 13 June 2012 - Latest update : Wednesday 13 June 2012

No more immunity for Nicolas Sarkozy

France's former president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Reuters/Yves Herman

By RFI

Legal protection for France’s former president Nicolas Sarkozy is nearly up. As his presidential immunity comes to an end on Friday, his involvement in several cases threatens to come to the surface.

Nicolas Sarkozy may soon face questioning for his role in a possible illegal financing campaign in 2007.

Sarkozy has always denied any involvement in the Liliane Bettencourt case, where the L'Oréal heiress has been accused of illegally financing Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential bid.

Bettencourt’s financial manager, Patrice de Maistre, has been held for two months over his alleged order for at least 400,000 euros to be handed over to the Sarkozy camp. The outcome of Maistre’s trial will be a deciding factor as to whether Sarkozy is placed under investigation.

Sarkozy is also implicated in Edouard Balladur’s failed presidential campaign in 1994-95, where funding may have come from secret kickbacks on French arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Sarkozy was the campaign spokesman for Balladur at that time.

Possible funding for Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign by former Libyan leader Moamar Kadhafi could also potentially stain Sarkozy’s record.

During his five years in office, Nicolas Sarkozy was protected by French law – a law that current president François Hollande wants to overturn, in hopes of reducing the amount of legal protection top leaders receive.

France’s Court of Cassation will see to the new proposition on Friday – coincidentally, on the same day as Sarkozy’s presidential immunity runs its course.

Sarkozy said he would retire from politics after losing this year’s presidential elections. He plans to specify his future professional plans in the coming months.
 

tags: Court - France - François Hollande - Law - Liliane Bettencourt - Nicolas Sarkozy - politics
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