Nicolas Sarkozy: phone tap transcripts leaked
In new leak, Nicolas Sarkozy allegedly promises to secure Monaco job for judge
Transcripts from phone conversations in which Nicolas Sarkozy reportedly promises to secure employment for judge Gilbert Azibert in Monaco have been leaked to the French newspaper Le Monde.
The records allegedly reveal a conversation in which Sarkozy tells his lawyer, Thierry Herzog, "I will help [Azibert] . . . I will get him set up."
Sarkozy also reportedly vows to lobby for the position with Monaco's Prince Albert, saying: "I am going to Monaco and I will see the prince".
Sarkozy is accused of offering Azibert employment in Monaco in return for information relating to separate inquiries into the financing of his presidential campaign.
Even though Azibert did not attain the position, "it is illegal for a person to promise to use political influence to obtain a personal advantage" under French laws, says The Independent.
Sarkozy's supporters claim the publication of the transcripts represents "a new example of a politically-inspired breach of the secrecy that covers criminal investigations", reports The Times.
"Le Monde has become a branch of the Palace of Justice," said an aide to the former president.
The left-wing newspaper "has repeatedly broken news emerging from investigations into the activities of the former conservative leader", The Times reports, and Sarkozy has suggested that the examining judges are "mounting a politically motivated crusade against him".
Sarkozy's lawyers claim that the investigating magistrate broke the law by recording phone conversations between a lawyer and client and are seeking to have the transcripts excluded from the case.