Exclusive: phone taps reveal Sarkozy plot against 'bastard' judges

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Mediapart can reveal the content of the controversial phone bugging carried out on former president Nicolas Sarkozy. Details of seven phone taps show that the ex-head of state set up what amounts to a dirty tricks operation to neutralise the judges who are investigating him. The extraordinary content of the calls confirm that Sarkozy's team used senior judge Gilbert Azibert to find out information about the Bettencourt affair. And that Sarkozy's lawyer Thierry Herzog was kept informed by a mole in the upper echelons of the state about the progress of the investigation over the Libyan funding of the former president's 2007 election campaign. As Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report, it is the start of a new state scandal involving Nicolas Sarkozy.

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The controversial phone taps on former French president Nicolas Sarkozy made earlier this year, and which sparked a political row, show evidence of a plot to neutralise the judges who are investigating him, Mediapart can reveal. This website has had access to the summary of seven calls made between Sarkozy and his lawyer Thierry Herzog which show that the two made made use of what was in effect a dirty tricks unit to find out what was happening in both the Bettencourt affair and the investigation relating to Libyan funding of Sarkozy's 2007 presidential election campaign. The affair now looks set to become a major state scandal in its own right. On the face of it the calls suggest that there was an attempt to violate the secrets of a judicial investigation and to corrupt a senior judge.