Carla Bruni faces witness tampering charge over ex-French president husband Nicolas Sarkozy's corruption case

10 July 2024, 06:43

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy faces witness tampering charges in her husband's illegal campaign finance case
Carla Bruni-Sarkozy faces witness tampering charges in her husband's illegal campaign finance case. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is facing a witness tampering charge in the campaign finance against her husband, the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

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Ms Bruni-Sarkozy, a French-Italian former supermodel, is also accused of attempting to commit fraud by deceiving investigators looking into her husband, who is suspected of receiving illegal funds during his presidential election campaign in 2007.

Sarkozy, who was president between 2007 and 2012, has already been convicted on two other charges, but has denied any wrongdoing.

Bruni-Sarkozy has provided "useful clarifications and explanations" to the police, her lawyer said.

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Carla Bruni
Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. Picture: Alamy

Her bail conditions mean that she is unable to contact anyone involved in the case, with the exception of her husband.

The witness Bruni-Sarkozy is accused of pressuring is Ziad Takieddine, who is linked to the accusations against Sarkozy that he received millions in illegal funding from then-Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi during the 2007 campaign.

He made a statement that he then retracted, and investigators suspect that this was the result of a payment.

French former president Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy
French former president Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. Picture: Getty

Sarkozy was sentenced to prison for a year for illegal campaign financing in his failed 2012 presidential election campaign, with an appeals court upholding the sentence earlier in 2024. Six months of the sentence were suspended.

His lawyers have since appealed the sentence at France's highest court, meaning he cannot be jailed in the meantime.

Sarkozy, 69, is accused of having spent nearly twice the legal limit for campaign spending of of €22.5m (£19m) in his re-election bid in 2012, which he lost to the socialist Francois Hollande.

Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy. Picture: Alamy

He was also found guilty of corruption in a separate case in 2021.

Sarkozy is the first French former president convicted and given a prison sentence for alleged crimes committed during his term in modern times.

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