Sarkozy faces corruption allegations
AFP · 10 Oct 2012, 14:55
Published: 10 Oct 2012 14:55 GMT+02:00
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The right-winger, ousted this year by Socialist Francois Hollande, lost his presidential immunity from prosecution in June and is now faced with a slew of legal probes into corruption and campaign financing violations.
The latest blow came from anti-corruption group Anticor whose complaint was made against persons unknown but clearly targets Sarkozy and the firms that carried out the opinion polls, Anticor's lawyer Jerome Karsenti said.
The complaint lodged with legal authorities states that some of the polls ordered were "of private interest to Mr Sarkozy" and therefore represented a misuse of public funds. It concerns a contract worth three million euros ($3.9 million) awarded by Sarkozy's office to Publifact, a firm owned by the then-president's advisor Patrick Buisson, for polls and advice.
It also focuses on a contract with Buisson's son Georges Buisson's polling firm, and another between Sarkozy's office and a firm run by another presidential advisor.
Anticor first lodged a complaint against Sarkozy in 2010 but it was blocked because the politician was protected by his presidential immunity.
Hollande's government spokesman said Wednesday that the current administration did not and would not order private opinion polls.
Sarkozy has stayed mostly out of the limelight since losing the presidential election in May, although supporters say he could make a return to politics one day.
In July, police searched his offices and his home as part of their probe into suspected illegal financing of his successful 2007 presidential election campaign.