French prosecutors on Thursday demanded that former president Nicolas Sarkozy, who has been embroiled in legal troubles since leaving office, face a new trial over alleged Libyan financing of his 2007 election campaign.
France’s financial crimes prosecutors (PNF) said Sarkozy and 12 others should face trial on charges they solicited millions of euros in financing from the regime of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi for in his last victorious campaign.
Sarkozy is accused of corruption, illegal campaign financing and concealing the embezzlement of public funds, prosecutors said in a statement.
He has always denied the charges.
The prosecutors’ call for a trial is not the final decision on whether to continue the process, where investigating magistrates have the final word in a case that has been open since 2013.
Among others facing trial in the case are heavyweights such as Sarkozy’s former right-hand man Claude Guéant, his former head of campaign financing Eric Woerth and former minister Brice Hortefeux.
Right-wing Sarkozy, who won the 2007 election but lost in 2012 to Socialist Francois Hollande, has been convicted twice in separate cases since leaving office.
The former president on May 17 will hear the decision of the appeals court in a wiretapping case, which saw him sentenced for the first time to three years in prison – two of them suspended – for corruption and influence peddling.
And he will be tried again from November 2023 on appeal in the so-called Bygmalion case, which saw him sentenced to a year in prison the first time.
Although the sentences are upheld, he is not expected to serve any prison time on the charges. He has always denied all the charges.
Despite the legal problems, the man who styled himself “hyper-president” while in office still enjoys considerable influence and popularity on the French political right.