News / Europe

Former French President, Under Investigation, Levels Accusations

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) leaves his residence in Paris, July 2, 2014.
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) leaves his residence in Paris, July 2, 2014.
Lisa Bryant

A scandal surrounding France's former leader has turned sharply partisan, with ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy describing corruption and influence-peddling allegations against him as politically motivated. 

On prime-time television Wednesday, he reaffirmed his innocence and denounced as "grotesque" claims he had engaged in unlawful behavior.

Sarkozy said a campaign was underway to humiliate him as he described the 15 hours he spent this week in police detention - an unprecedented procedure for a French leader.

He asked why magistrates investigating the case could not have simply summoned him to answer their questions.

Defeated in his re-election bid in 2012, Sarkozy is under formal judicial investigation, suspected of trying to get inside information from a judge about an inquiry into his 2007 presidential campaign. 

Wiretapped conversations

Both his lawyer and the judge in question, Gilbert Azibert, are also under investigation, in a case that appears to be built on wiretapped conversations.

Sarkozy denounced the wiretaps, suggesting he was being singled out for unfair and scandalous treatment. He suggested the justice system had been manipulated for political ends.

The investigation into Sarkozy comes as he appeared poised for a political comeback two years after losing the election to Socialist President Francois Hollande. 

Hollande is hugely unpopular and Sarkozy's own center-right UMP Party is in disarray, but this new investigation, one of several scandals surrounding Sarkozy, may derail his political hopes.

Sarkozy's supporters are cheering his offensive, but others are swift to criticize the 59-year-old former president.

Thursday on French radio, Socialist Party Secretary Jean-Christophe Cambadelis accused Sarkozy of using his TV appearance to insult magistrates, the leftist government and Hollande.

In recent days, the Sarkozy allegations have gotten about as much media attention in France as the World Cup - in which the French football team has been playing strong.

Sarkozy, however, is performing less well. 

A new CSA poll finds 65 percent of French are against his returning to political life.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid