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French police detain ex-president Sarkozy

French police detain ex-president Sarkozy
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France’s former president Nicolas Sarkozy has been detained by police over alleged influence-peddling.

A car thought to contain Sarkozy arrived early on Tuesday at the offices of investigators in Nanterre, in the west of Paris.

The decision to detain the 59-year-old is unprecedented in modern French history.

Police are trying to establish whether Sarkozy, with the help of his lawyer Thierry Herzog, attempted to pervert the course of justice by gaining inside information about other legal cases against the former leader.

Along with Herzog, one of France’s most senior appeal court judges, Gilbert Azibert was also held for questioning on Monday. Sarkozy is suspected of promising him a prestigious position in Monaco in exchange for information. Another judge, Patrick Sassoust, has also been questioned.

The probe is seeking to establish whether Sarkozy used his influence to find out what police knew about a separate inquiry into allegations that Libya’s late leader Muammar Gaddafi funded his successful 2007 election campaign.