| 17 June 2024, Monday |

France’s Sarkozy will stand trial over alleged Libyan campaign financing

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will stand trial in 2025 on charges of corruption and illicit financing related to his successful 2007 presidential campaign, according to the financial prosecutor’s office.

Sarkozy, who is still a major role in French politics despite not being elected, has always refuted the allegations. “There isn’t even a speck of proof,” he remarked in an interview in 2018.

The conservative former president, in office from 2007 to 2012, could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted in the case. He is also fighting various other legal cases, Reuters said.

In this case, he will stand trial over charges of “concealment of embezzlement of public funds, passive corruption, illegal campaign financing and criminal conspiracy with a view to committing a crime punishable by 10 years in jail”, the prosecutor’s office said.

Among the 12 others facing trial in the case are Sarkozy’s former right-hand man Claude Gueant, his then head of campaign financing Eric Woerth and former Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux.

An initial hearing is set for March 7, 2024, the prosecutor’s office said, with the trial itself scheduled to take place between Jan.6, 2025 and April 10, 2025.

Sarkozy, 68, lost an appeal in May against a 2021 conviction for corruption and influence peddling. His legal team promised to challenge that at France’s highest court.

Sarkozy’s conservative predecessor, the late Jacques Chirac, was found guilty of corruption in 2011, four years after he left office.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat