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New phone tap leaks add to Sarkozy’s legal woes
Fresh allegations descended on former French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Saturday after a leaked phone conversation purported to show him offering a judge a cushiony job in return for favours.
The French daily Le Monde published extracts of the tapped calls on Saturday where the ex-leader appears to offer judge Gilbert Azibert a job in Monaco in return for his help in one of six bribery and funding scandals continuing to trail him.
Sarkozy, who was charged two weeks ago with corruption and influence peddling in a case related to his successful 2007 presidential campaign, has rejected any wrongdoing and says he is a victim of a political set-up aimed at quashing a potential political comeback in time for the 2017 elections.
The tapped calls are of Sarkozy and his long-time lawyer Thierry Herzog who also faces charges on a mobile phone allegedly bought by Sarkozy under a fake name.
“I will help him (the judge)….I will get him set up,” Sarkozy allegedly says sometime this past February. “Call him today and tell him I will sort it out. I am going to Monaco and I will see the prince (Albert).”
Azibert, who has been charged with illegally passing on information about the political funding scandal surrounding billionaire L’Oreal heiress, Liliane Bettencourt, did not get the position in Monaco.
Authorities have said that Sarkozy might have discovered that his secret phone was being tapped and never asked for the judge to get the job.
It is a crime under French law to promise a public position as a favour, whether or not the person ever got it.