France's former president Sarkozy to stand trial for corruption, influence peddling

2019-06-20 02:19:25 GMT2019-06-20 10:19:25(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

PARIS, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will face trial on charges of corruption and influence peddling, state-run France Info radio reported on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the country's highest court rejected Sarkozy final bid to have the case dropped, sending the conservative politician to trial, the first such case in the Fifth Republic, France Info said citing a source close to the affair.

The report added that the trial would be held in a Paris court "in the coming months."

The judges have accused Sarkozy of having proposed via his lawyer Thierry Herzog promotion to a prosecutor in exchange for tip-offs on an inquiry into allegations he had exploited the mental frailty of France's richest woman, Liliane Bettencourt, to receive donations in cash to finance his campaign.

In October 2017, the National Finance Prosecutor (PNF) said that the former head of state should be sent to the criminal court on charges of "corruption, trading in influence and concealment of breach of professional secrecy."

Sarkozy, who served as president of France between May 2007 and May 2012, has been dogged by a series of investigations into alleged corruption and financial irregularities and the concealment of alleged funding from Libya during his 2012 election campaign.