Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was secretly taped in dozens of meetings by a close aide whilst in office.
The recordings, some of which were published on Wednesday, have caused a political storm in France just weeks before nationwide local elections.
Dubbed ‘Sarkoleaks’ by the French media, the president’s former advisor Patrick Buisson has admitted making the tapes for his own use.
In one recording, that was leaked to both French website Atlantico and the satirical weekly Le Canard Enchainé, Sarkozy is heard criticising his ministers.
The head of Atlantico.fr, Jean-Francois Ferjou, said: ‘‘He (Buisson) left his home in the morning. He put the tape recorder in his jacket pocket and recorded everything. This was clearly an insurance policy for him. At the Elysee he had a huge number of enemies and what he said to his friends and family was that it wouldn’t hurt to have something on certain individuals.’‘
Buisson has insisted, through his lawyer, that he made the recordings to keep track of meetings, but some in France’s conservative UMP party are calling for a public inquiry into how such a breach of the president’s private conversations could have taken place. Those close to Sarkozy have also condemned the former aide’s actions.
‘‘This really is a betrayal, For all of us it is akin to a kind of rape,’‘ said Sarkozy’s close advisor Henri Guaino.
Sarkozy is reported to be ‘furious’ about the disclose, with fears more leaked publications could scupper a possible presidential comeback for 2017.