Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy (C) arrives with police by car at the financial investigation unit in Paris to be presented to a judge late July 1, 2014. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
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France's former president Nicolas Sarkozy has been charged with corruption and influence peddling, French prosecutors said Wednesday, a dramatic move in a criminal probe that could wreck his hopes of a political comeback.The decision came after Sarkozy was questioned for 15 hours, marking the first time a French ex-head of state had been taken into custody in a criminal investigation. The case was launched after judges looking into the alleged financing of Sarkozy's 2007 election campaign by former Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi obtained an unprecedented and controversial authorisation to tap the former president's phones from April 2013 .The Kadhafi investigation is ongoing, as are several other cases in which Sarkozy has been implicated.Sarkozy denies any knowledge or involvement in the apparent fraud, which is now subject to another criminal probe.French judges have in recent years shown their readiness to go after former leaders with their successful pursuit of Sarkozy's predecessor as president, Jacques Chirac.
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