Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday lost his final bid to avoid standing trial on charges of corruption and influence peddling, his lawyer said.
Sarkozy is accused of offering to help a judge win a promotion in Monaco in return for leaked information.
The case arose after investigators tapped the phones of Sarkozy and his lawyer Thierry Herzog to examine allegations that late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi funded Sarkozy’s successful campaign for the presidency in 2007.
As they eavesdropped on his calls, investigators began to suspect the ex-president had offered judge Gilbert Azibert a promotion in return for information on developments in a parallel investigation into allegations Sarkozy accepted illicit payments from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for the same campaign. Sarkozy was cleared over the Bettencourt allegations.
His lawyers have previously argued that magistrates looking into the alleged secret Libyan funding exceeded their powers and went on a “fishing expedition” by tapping his conversations with Herzog between September 2013 and March 2014, breaching lawyer-client privilege.
On Wednesday, Sarkozy’s defense team said the use of wiretapped remarks gleaned for an investigation into illicit campaign financing to prosecute unrelated charges of corruption contravened a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.
“These legal issues are still relevant,” Sarkozy lawyer Jacqueline Laffont said. “It will be for the court to decide whether a French court can override a decision of the European Court of Human Rights.”