Sarkozy and top French magistrate in conspiracy scandal sparked by phone taps

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A judicial investigation has been opened into evidence obtained via police phone taps that Nicolas Sarkozy and his lawyer Thierry Herzog received highly confidential information from a senior French magistrate about two legal cases involving the former French president. In exchange for the illicitly-gained information, Sarkozy was allegedly asked to use his influence to obtain the appointment of the the magistrate, Gilbert Azibert, to a lucrative retirement post on Monaco’s state council. Michel Deléan reports on the latest developments in an affair that has rocked France’s political and judicial establishment and which may announce the end of Sarkozy’s planned return to politics.

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The latest scandal to embroil former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, and which is fast developing into what Socialist Party leader Harlem Désir described on Friday as “an affair of state", stems from recent police phone taps of Sarkozy and his lawyer Thierry Herzog ordered by judges investigating evidence that Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential election campaign was funded by the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.