Nicolas Sarkozy refuses to answer questions at trial of former aides

3 weeks ago 19

Nicolas Sarkozy has appeared successful tribunal arsenic the archetypal erstwhile French president to beryllium ordered to attest arsenic a witnesser – but refused constituent blank to reply immoderate questions.

“It is an indispensable rule of democracies known arsenic the separation of powers, and arsenic president of the Republic I bash not person to relationship for the organisation of my bureau oregon the mode successful which I exercised my mandate,” helium told the tribunal successful Paris connected Tuesday.

France’s president from 2007 to 2012 told the tribunal that the order, which the judge said was necessary “to find the truth” since Sarkozy had astir apt “influenced the acts of which the defendants are accused”, was “entirely anti-constitutional”.

Sarkozy said helium was accountable “to the French people, not to a court”. He has not been charged oregon interrogated successful the case, successful which 5 of his erstwhile aides and allies are accused of misusing nationalist funds connected polling contracts.

The erstwhile caput of authorities had said earlier helium would garbage to attest successful the trial, but told the tribunal helium had reconsidered due to the fact that helium “respected and person ever respected” the judicial system, adjacent if helium considered the bid to attest “totally disproportionate”.

Sarkozy past exercised his close not to reply a lengthy bid of questions from the justice and a lawyer for Anticor, the anti-corruption relation that brought the case. Both the nationalist authoritative and the defence squad declined to inquire him anything.

Five aides and allies of Sarkozy, including his erstwhile main of unit Claude Guéant and ex-adviser and advisor Patrick Buisson, person been connected proceedings since 18 October accused of favouritism, conspiracy and misuse of nationalist funds.

Prosecutors accidental the polling contracts, worthy €7.5m (£6.4m), signed by the 5 during Sarkozy’s word successful bureau were negotiated successful concealed and without competition, breaking French laws connected transparency and competitory bidding successful nationalist contracts.

Sarkozy, 66, nary longer has immunity from ineligible prosecution and is embroiled successful respective cases. In September, a justice handed him a one-year situation sentence implicit the amerciable financing of his failed 2012 re-election bid.

In March, helium was convicted of “corruption and power peddling” and fixed a three-year situation sentence, 2 years suspended, for trying to bribe a elder justice successful 1 of respective ineligible cases involving him. He is appealing against some verdicts.

In October past year, helium was placed nether ceremonial probe connected an accusation of “criminal association” implicit allegations the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi helped concern his palmy 2007 statesmanlike run to the tune of up to €50m.

He was cleared of engagement successful different 2007 run financing ungraded involving allies from his UMP enactment who were accused of accepting amerciable payments from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt successful cash-filled envelopes.