UH OH: When Sarkozy Leaves Office Next Week, He May Well Face Corruption Investigations

Nicolas Sarkozy

Photo: Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images

Nicolas Sarkozy is due to leave the Elysée next week, and has told supporters he does not see a future for himself in active politics.Unfortunately, there might be a rude surprise waiting for Sarkozy in the real world — The Telegraph notes that Sarkozy will lose his Presidential immunity from prosecution.

Because of that, Sarkozy may finally be called — as either a witness or a suspect – in three controversial UMP party funding cases that have dragged on throughout his term in the president’s office:

  • The allegations that Sarkozy’s campaign secretly took significant amounts of cash (way over the maximum allowed) from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. Sarkozy’s former budget minister has already been charged with corruption over the incident, and another ally was accused of spying on journalists investigating the case.
  • The so-called “Karachi affair”, which reportedly saw members of Sarkozy’s campaign get kickbacks from the sale of French submarines to Pakistan, and allegedly resulted in the death of 11 French engineers in a Karachi bombing carried out by Pakistani agents.
  • Two recent reports that suggest that Sarkozy traded nuclear secrets with Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya for the release of foreign medics in the country, and, worse yet, that Qaddafi had donated over $66 million to Sarkozy’s election campaign.

We should bare in mind that sentencing a former president is hardly unprecedented in French politics — Jacques Chirac received a two year suspended sentence last year for his own monetary foibles.

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