France: Sarkozy stands trial accused of seeking to bribe judge

Nicolas Sarkozy will fight allegations of corruption and influence peddling in a high-profile trial starting on Monday — the first in a series of legal cases that could make or break the former French president’s political legacy.

Prosecutors allege that Mr Sarkozy and his lawyer Thierry Herzog sought to bribe a judge to get information about a separate criminal case involving a politician, his political allies, and billionaire L’Oréal heiress Françoise Bettencourt.

That a former president is forced to appear in court is rare and legal experts have called it a key test for France’s anti-corruption investigators and judges. The last time a former French leader faced trial was in 2011, when Jacques Chirac was convicted of misusing public funds during his time as Paris mayor.

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(Photo: AFP via Getty Images)

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