Nicolas Sarkozy is looking to the future as his newly named Les Republicains prepare for a fresh start in 2017. Unfortunately for the former president, his own past cannot be scrubbed as easily as his party’s.
Sarkozy is no stranger to corruption charges, ever since his party was accused of taking advantage of the elderly L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt in order to fund the 2007 election campaign that first made Sarkozy President of the French Republic. Those charges have since been dropped, however evidence gathered while wiretapping the president’s phone has shined light on yet another scandal.
Sarkozy is now accused of suggesting to promote a magistrate willing to give him insider information on his ongoing cases to an influential position in Monaco. The magistrate never got the job however, and the former president of course denies that he did anything wrong, but this can allegedly be refuted if private phone calls between him and his lawyer can be considered as evidence. The court has since ruled in favour of this measure, but an appeal process is now underway to fight that decision. Sarkozy can be criminally responsible even for suggesting the promotion, regardless of whether he carried it out or not, and could face the maximum sentence of ten years in prison for the crime.
This is unlikely, however, but what could be more damaging is a ban from running for his own party’s leadership, and ultimately the presidency. Though this seems even more unlikely given how many other cases against him have been dropped. It is all part of a Socialist conspiracy to undermine the former president, as he himself has suggested.
And while that is very possible, it is also hardly necessary.