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27th November 2022
WORLD NEWS

Ex-French President Sarkozy Ordered To Stand As Witness

Ex-French President Sarkozy Ordered To Stand As Witness
Ex-French President Sarkozy Ordered To Stand As Witness

A French court on Tuesday, ordered Ex-French president Sarkozy to stand as a witness in a trial involving five of his former aides, who are accused of having misused public money and cronyism. 

Nicolas Sarkozy who is protected in this case by the criminal immunity guaranteed by the French Constitution, is not directly facing charges, but he is obliged to be present in court on 2 November.

The Ex-French President Sarkozy has, however, sent a letter on Monday saying that he “did not intend” to appear at the hearing. He said he “had no intention of complying with this summons”. But the judge issued a court order for him to provide his testimony on the 2nd of November, by force if necessary.

The Judge not convinced by the excuses being given by the Ex-French President Sarkozy, demanded that: “this witness be brought before him by the police to be heard on November 2”. He “considers that it follows from the order before him that the testimony of Nicolas Sarkozy is indeed (…) necessary for the manifestation of the truth” and that it is “likely to have an influence on charges against the defendants “.

“Equality before the law”

The president of the court, therefore, issued a warrant to force Nicolas Sarkozy to come if he ever refuses. According to the Constitution, the President of the Republic is covered by immunity for acts accomplished during his mandate, but the supreme text “does not in any way prevent a former president from being heard as a witness”, recalled the magistrate, who also cited the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) concerning the rights of defense of defendants.

 Speaking to BFMTV the Presdient of Anticor and Civil Party in the trail, Elise Van Beneden, said: “It’s a great victory for equality before the law”, greets

Asked about this decision, the entourage of Nicolas Sarkozy did not wish to speak “at this stage”.

Sarkozy’s former chief of staff Claude Gueant and ex-advisor and consultant Patrick Buisson are among those charged over the attribution of multi-million-euro contracts for polling services.

Prosecutors say the contracts signed by Sarkozy’s staff during his 2007-2012 term in office were sealed in secret and without competition — breaking French laws on public financing that require transparency and competitive bidding.

The accused, who face charges ranging from favouritism, to conspiracy and misusing public funds, also include ex-Sarkozy aides Emmanuelle Mignon and Julien Vaulpre, as well as former polling expert and consultant Pierre Giacometti.

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