Under cloud for corruption, Nicolas Sarkozy says I passionately love France

By Supriya Jha | Last Updated: Thursday, July 3, 2014 - 13:35

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Paris: Reeling under allegations of abuse of power, former President of France Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday claimed that he has not betrayed the confidence of people and instead accused that the country`s justice system was being twisted for eking out "political ends”.

Speaking in the interviews to TF1 TV and Europe-1 radio, he said that he was shocked over his 16-hour detention by the police as he had never committed any act against the Republic`s principles and the rule of law.

He said that the investigation was a "grotesque" attempt to dent his image and humiliate him.

"A part of the justice system is being used for political purposes," he said referring to a possible plotting against him.

"In our country ... there are things that are in the process of being organized," he said. "The French need to know them, and in their conscience, and freely, need to judge what`s happening."

"I passionately love my country and I am not a man who gets discouraged in the face of dirty tricks and political manipulations," Sarkozy said.

Sarkozy`s justification came after he was detained Tuesday by the police for questioning as part of a corruption investigation.

Sarkozy, who spent nearly a day in custody on Tuesday answering questions about his 2007 presidential campaign, said on that he was "profoundly shocked" over his 16-hour detention.

It is an unprecedented case and Sarkozy is the first former head of the state to have been held in police custody for questioning.

Sarkozy is allegedly said to have sought confidential legal information about himself regarding the investigation into illegal campaign funding and in turn promised to offer a plum position to the concerned judge Gilbert Azibert.

The former French President has been embroiled in an inquiry over illegal funding for election campaign, and he is allegedly said to have taken donations from the slain Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2007.

Along with Sarkozy, his lawyer Thierry Herzog, and judge Mr Azibert are also placed under investigation.

Sarkozy was the President of the country from 2007 to 2012 after which he lost the presidential election to Socialist rival Francois Hollande.



First Published: Thursday, July 3, 2014 - 09:10

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