France top court: Sarkozy wiretap admissible as evidence
Mar 24, 2016 09:17 PM EDT
France's top appellate court ruled on Tuesday that the wiretapped conversation between Nicolas Sarkozy and his lawyer were admissible as evidence against him in a case which involves corruption.
The Jurist reported that in 2013, investigators recorded a conversation between the former president of France and his lawyer for a case involving suspicious Libyan Funding for Sakozy's triumphant presidential bid back in 2007. The conversations led investigators to discover a new set of charges for corruption against the former president.
The court deemed the recordings legal even though lawyers of Sarkozy argued they broke lawyer-client confidentiality and crossed the line beyond the scope of the initial investigative purpose of the tap. According to Swiss Info, the Court of Cassation denied an appeal by the conservative Sarkozy against the legality of intercepts of two cellular phones rented for him under an alias after leaving the office.
This provides a way for the former president to stand trial for allegedly attempting to bribe a justice official to leak information to him in another investigation. He denied any wrongdoing.
The ruling on Tuesday will make it harder for Sarkozy to stand in a primary in November for the conservative nomination for 2017's presidential election. He was president from 2007 to 2012 but Socialist Francois Hollande defeated him when he ran for re-election. He then faced a series of probes into alleged fraud, favoritism, campaign funding irregularities, and corruption. Last month, Sarkozy was placed under investigation in a separate probe into grave breaches of the legal spending limits on his re-election campaign, says France 24.
Sarkozy and his legal team argued that the justices who have been investigating the alleged secret Libyan funding of his 2007 campaign exceeded their powers and committed a fishing expedition by tapping his conversations
Sarkozy used the mobile phone account under the alias Paul Bismuth only for calls with lawyer Thierry Herzog.