Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is scheduled to become, in nine months’ time, the first French head of State to be tried on corruption charges.’
The Paris Correctional Court decided on Wednesday that he would face trial from 5 October.
Mr. Sarkozy is suspected of having tried in early 2014 to obtain, through his lawyer, Thierry Herzog, secret information from then senior magistrate of the Court of Cassation Gilbert Azibert on a case involving him, in exchange for helping Azibert to obtain a post in Monaco.
The former head of State (2007-2012) will face corruption and influence peddling charges from 5 to 22 October, preceded by an intermediary audience set for 17 June.
This will mark the first time a former French President faces trial for corruption, although Sarkozy’s predecessor, Jacques Chirac, had also crossed swords with the French justice authorities.
In 2011, Chirac became the first French head of State convicted of embezzlement and breach of trust for taking on members of his party as fictitious municipal employees in the 1990s, when he was mayor of Paris.
In June, the Court of Cassation had rejected the last attempts by Sarkozy, Herzog and Azibert to avoid a trial. Their attorneys declined to comment on Wednesday.
Sarkozy, who retired from politics after his defeat in the French right’s primaries in late 2016, also has to face trial in coming months for the “illegal financing” of his 2012 campaign. The date for this second trial has not yet been announced.