Sarkozy faces investigation

Jan. 10, 2013 at 2:28 PM
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PARIS, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy can be investigated for his part in a 2011 news release on the 2002 "Karachi Affair," a French court said Thursday.

The news release involved an investigation into alleged links between a car bombing that killed 15 people, including 11 French engineers, in Pakistan's largest city in 2002 and commissions paid to Pakistan for buying French submarines, International Business Times reported. The bombing was allegedly retaliation for then-President Jacques Chirac's decision to stop paying Pakistan the commissions.

The news release from Sarkozy's office said he was not a target of the investigation. That release allegedly violated French laws against public comment on ongoing probes.

A three-judge panel said Sarkozy is not protected by presidential immunity in this case.

"The act of permitting the release of information concerning ongoing investigations does not enter into the functions of the president," the ruling said.

There are also allegations that kickbacks funneled to former Prime Minister Edouard Balladur's presidential campaign in 1995. Sarkozy was budget minister under Balladur, who served as prime minister from 1993 to 1995 and came in third in the 1995 race.

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