Nicolas Sarkozy seems to be in trouble:
"I have never committed any act contrary to the values of the republic or the rule of law," Sarkozy said after he was charged on three corruption-related counts that threaten to torpedo his hopes of a political comeback.He's shocked that there was gambling in his establishment...
"I have never betrayed the confidence" of the French people, he said in a televised interview -- his first major appearance since he lost the 2012 presidential election to Francois Hollande.
Sarkozy decried what he called "political interference" in the case -- a suggestion that opponents like the ruling Socialists were behind his legal woes.
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.
After four fruitless months they discovered Sarkozy had a secret phone registered under an assumed name, and recordings from that device led to the opening of the case in which he has now been charged.
At its root are allegations that Sarkozy was helped to victory in the 2007 election with up to 50 million euros ($70 million at the time) from Kadhafi and envelopes stuffed with cash from France's richest woman, L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.
He dismisses the Kadhafi claims as ridiculous and charges against him in the Bettencourt case were dropped last year.