Even if he risks being sent back, the trial of the so-called “wiretapping” affair is to begin this Monday morning. Nicolas Sarkozy is being prosecuted there for “corruption” and “influence peddling”. A first for a former President of the Republic.
This is a first in the history of the Fifth Republic: a former President of the Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy, will have to answer for facts of “corruption” and “trading in influence” before a court. If Jacques Chirac was tried and convicted in 2011 in connection with the fictitious jobs of the City of Paris, he has never appeared before his judges because of his state of health.
The trial of the so-called “eavesdropping” affair, which opens this Monday, November 23 in Paris and for which Nicolas Sarkozy faces ten years in prison and a million euros fine, must last until December 10. He could turn short, however. One of the co-defendants, former judge Gilbert Azibert, 73, has indeed filed a request for dismissal because of his state of health. The health context could also have an impact on the course of the discussions.
Anyway, Nicolas Sarkozy has promised to go to the “combative” court, just days after having recorded good news in his legal torments: his main accuser in the case of the Libyan financing of the 2007 campaign, the businessman Ziad Takieddine, suddenly retracted ten days ago, in an interview with Paris Match. “I always said that the truth would triumph in the end, it is on the way,” then reacted the former head of state, four times indicted in this case.
“I am not a rotten”
It is moreover this file which serves as a starting point for the listening. As part of the investigation, the judges who had “plugged in” Nicolas Sarkozy in 2013 had indeed discovered, in early 2014, that he was using a secret line, under the alias “Paul Bismuth”, in order to communicate with his lawyer Thierry Herzog, also in the box of the accused. According to the prosecution, some of their conversations then revealed the existence of a corruption pact: Nicolas Sarkozy would have, through his lawyer, considered bringing a “boost” to Gilbert Azibert for the help get a job in Monaco he coveted – and never got. In return, this high magistrate would have provided information covered by secrecy on the sidelines of the sprawling Bettencourt affair – of which Nicolas Sarkozy was finally cleared in 2013.
“I am not a rotten”, hammered the latter on November 13 on BFMTV, describing the wiretapping affair as “a scandal that will go down in history”. In 2017, the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) had shown himself particularly biting, comparing the methods of the former President to those of a “seasoned delinquent”. In addition, the Court of Cassation had validated in 2016 the legality of these conversations, a major setback for the former head of state in this procedure.
The fadettes, the case within the case
In this trial with drawers, the PNF should also, last element, find himself under pressure: an investigation that he had discreetly conducted in 2014 before being closed five years later, aimed to identify a potential “mole” “who would have informed Nicolas Sarkozy that the line” Paul Bismuth “had been discovered. In this setting, as revealed Point last June, the detailed telephone bills (the “fadettes”) of several tenors of the bar were peeled. Among them, Eric Dupond-Moretti, who, having become Minister of Justice, opened in September an administrative investigation against three magistrates of the PNF. What to spice up a little more debates which promise to be explosive.