Skip to main content

Ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy questioned in police investigation

By Laura Smith-Spark and Jim Bittermann, CNN
updated 3:17 PM EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is called in for questioning, prosecutor says
  • Investigators have been looking into Sarkozy's campaign financing
  • They want to establish if he obtained secret information about cases concerning him

Paris (CNN) -- Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was called in for questioning Tuesday as part of a corruption investigation in connection with an inquiry into alleged abuse of power.

Financial prosecutor Eliane Houlette confirmed that Sarkozy was called in around 8 a.m. local time by police in Nanterre.

Investigators have been looking into Sarkozy's campaign financing, CNN's French affiliate BFMTV reported.

They are trying to establish whether the former President, who led the country from 2007 to 2012, obtained confidential information on legal cases concerning him from top magistrates in exchange for the offer of a prestigious post, the channel said.

Under French law, Sarkozy can be held for questioning for a day, which can be extended once by another 24 hours. The situation is unprecedented for a former president, BFMTV reported.

His lawyer, Thierry Herzog, and two high-ranking magistrates were called in for questioning in the Paris area Monday, according to BFMTV. Their police custody was extended by another 24 hours Tuesday.

Sarkozy left office in May 2012 after he lost in the presidential election to Socialist rival Francois Hollande.

In recent months, speculation has grown that he might be positioning himself for a political comeback at the head of his center-right party, the UMP.

CNN's Jim Bittermann reported from Paris and Laura Smith-Spark wrote in London.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:54 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
updated 7:24 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
updated 1:44 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
updated 8:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
updated 12:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
updated 3:22 AM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
updated 4:00 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
updated 6:34 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT