Revealed: how top cop tipped off Sarkozy ally over Libyan funding investigation

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Revelations about phone taps on Nicolas Sarkozy and his lawyer Thierry Herzog have caused a major legal and political row. Lawyers say the eavesdropping is a breach of lawyer-client privilege, right-wing politicians have claimed there is a plot to discredit the former French president, while the phone taps themselves suggest evidence of 'influence peddling'. But the judicially-approved eavesdropping also targeted former interior minister and close Sarkozy ally Brice Hortefeux as part of the investigation into illegal funding of the Sarkozy 2007 presidential campaign by the Libyan regime. Here Mediapart publishes extracts from some of those phone taps which show how a senior policeman phoned Hortefeux to warn him about details of the investigation and to coach him about how to prepare for questioning – in flagrant breach of procedural regulations. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

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A senior policeman coached former interior minister Brice Hortefeux on how to handle questioning as part of the ongoing investigation into illegal Libyan funding of the 2007 Nicolas Sarkozy presidential campaign, Mediapart can reveal. The revelations appear in extracts from phone taps approved by judges investigating the funding claims, which also targeted Sarkozy himself and his lawyer Thierry Herzog.