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General

Sarkozy breaks silence as corruption charges loom

media Ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy at his residence, in Paris, July, 2 2014. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, currently under investigation for alleged corruption and influence peddling, has announced he will go on national radio and TV on Wednesday evening. It will be his first major broadcast interview since he lost the 2012 presidential election.

 

After being quizzed for 15 hours by police, Nicolas Sarkozy will now face the questions of journalists from some of France's biggest television and radio stations.

The interview- the first- since he was booted out of power in 2012, is eagerly awaited, after the ex-President was put under formal investigation on Wednesday.

The 59-year old, is accused of seeking insider information from a judge regarding an investigation into the illegal financing of his 2007 election campaign. Sarkozy denies any wrongdoing

On Wednesday night, he will engage in a delicate balancing act, in trying to convince the public of his innocence, while persuading them he is still apt to lead the country, in the likelihood of an eventual political comeback.

A spokesman for the Far-Right Front National, said "it would be indecent for the ex-President to return to politics" given the severity of the charges against him.

But Sarkozy has received wide support from several high-ranking party colleagues. Former Prime Minister Alain Juppe wrote on his Twitter feed: "My friendly thoughts go out to Nicolas Sarkozy: he is innocent until proven guilty."

Whilst Euro-deputy Nadine Morano, has slammed the "impartiality" of judges and the spying techniques used to tap the right-wing leader's phone.

President Francois Hollande has stressed that his predecessor must benefit from "the presumption of innocence," whilst Prime Minister Manuel Valls denied suggestions Sarkozy was being hounded by the Socialist government.

 

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