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After four days of questioning he rejected all the charges

Sarkozy: French ex-president charged with criminal conspiracy

Source – BBC
French investigating magistrates have issued a fourth charge against ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy for allegedly accepting Libyan cash to fund his 2007 presidential campaign.

He is accused of “membership in a criminal conspiracy“, in the long-running investigation. The charges could lead to a trial.

After four days of questioning he rejected all the charges. He was also questioned last year.

There are also other cases against him

In the Libya investigation he was charged in 2018 with corruption, illegal campaign financing and benefiting from embezzled public funds.

In January magistrates also placed a former Sarkozy aide, Thierry Gaubert, under formal investigation. Prosecutors suspect that Mr Sarkozy and several associates received millions of euros from the regime of the late Col Muammar Gaddafi to help his election campaign. He served as president from 2007 to 2012.

“My innocence is once again trampled on by a decision that presents no evidence at all of any illicit financing,” he wrote on Facebook.

In a separate case, he is to go on trial accused of trying to bribe a magistrate, Gilbert Azibert, by offering a prestigious job in Monaco in return for information about a criminal inquiry into his political party. His court appearance is scheduled for 23 November to 10 December, AFP news agency reports.

And he is due to go on trial from 17 March to 15 April 2021 over the so-called Bygmalion affair, in which he is accused of having fraudulently overspent in his 2012 presidential campaign. His 2012 re-election bid was unsuccessful.

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What we know about Sarkozy

His full name is “Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarközy de Nagy-Bocsa”, retired French politician who served as President of France and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra from 16 May 2007 until 15 May 2012. Born in Paris, he is of 1/2 Hungarian Protestant, 1/4 Greek Jewish, and 1/4 French Catholic origin.

Sarkozy married his first wife, Marie-Dominique Culioli, on 23 September 1982; her father was a pharmacist from Vico (a village north of Ajaccio, Corsica), her uncle was Achille Peretti, the mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine from 1947–1983 and Sarkozy’s political mentor.

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They had two sons, Pierre (born in 1985), now a hip-hop producer, and Jean (born in 1986) now a local politician in the city of Neuilly-sur-Seine where Sarkozy started his own political career. Sarkozy’s best man was the prominent right-wing politician Charles Pasqua, later to become a political opponent. Sarkozy divorced Culioli in 1996, after they had been separated for several years.

Sarkozy was a likely candidate for the presidency in 2007; in an oft-repeated comment made on television channel France 2, when asked by a journalist whether he thought about the presidential election when he shaved in the morning, Sarkozy commented, “Not just when I shave”.

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On 14 January 2007, Sarkozy was chosen by the UMP to be its candidate in the 2007 presidential election. Sarkozy, who was running unopposed, won 98 percent of the votes. Of the 327,000 UMP members who could vote, 69 percent participated in the online ballot.

On 21 March, President Jacques Chirac announced his support for Sarkozy. Chirac pointed out that Sarkozy had been chosen as presidential candidate for the ruling UMP party, and said: “So it’s totally natural that I give him my vote and my support.” Sarkozy stepped down as interior minister on 26 March to focus on his campaign.

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The first round of the presidential election was held on 22 April 2007. Sarkozy came in first with 31.18 percent of the votes, ahead of Ségolène Royal of the Socialists with 25.87 percent. In the second round, Sarkozy came out on top to win the election with 53.06 percent of the votes ahead of Ségolène Royal with 46.94 percent.

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