Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has made a rare public appearance.
The 58-year-old was in Brussels to present France’s highest honour to Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders.
Sarkozy presented Reynders with the Legion d’Honneur the decision was made before he left office.
He made a fleeting reference to a party funding scandal shortly after the ceremony.
Sarkozy quipped “there was no use moaning about the rain as the sun always ends up shining.”
He denies exploiting Liliane Bettancourt, a frail cosmetics heiress, to help raise election funds.
If found guilty, it would end the French conservative’s chances of staging a rumoured dramatic political comeback.
Sarkozy later held meetings with European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council president Herman Van Rompuy.