French Authorities Detain Former President Nicolas Sarkozy for Questioning in Corruption Probe

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By Vittorio Hernandez | July 2, 2014 8:47 AM EST

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy gestures as he delivers a speech during the inauguration of the Institut Claude Pompidou, a new center for care and research of Alzheimer disease, in Nice March 10, 2014. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy gestures as he delivers a speech during the inauguration of the Institut Claude Pompidou, a new center for care and research of Alzheimer disease, in Nice March 10, 2014. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is under detention in Paris by authorities for questioning over alleged corruption, specifically influence peddling.

The timing of the detention is being linked to politics since Mr Sarkozy is said to be preparing for a political comeback and would likely be the candidate of the centre-right for the French election in 2017.

The ongoing probe is one of six legal investigations against the ex-president who arrived on Tuesday morning at the anti-corruption office of the judicial police in Nantierre, near Paris.

BBC reports that the inquiry , launched in February, seeks to find out if Mr Sarkozy used his position as president to secure information about a separate probe that claims deceased Libyan dictator funded Mr Sarkozy's political campaign in 2007.

Two other French magistrates, Gilbert Azibert and Patrick Sassoust, attempted to get a promotion for Azibert  a promotion in Monaco in exchange for the information.

There is also an allegation that the former president rigged a settlement procedure that led to scandalised businessman Bernard Tapie who received 400 million euro from the French government.

Speculations are loud about the comeback of Sarkozy to the presidency for the 2017 election because his UMP party could not find a convincing leader since Sarkozy stepped down from office.

French media said that it is the first time in the country's modern history that a former head of state was held for questioning.

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Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy gestures as he delivers a speech during the inauguration of the Institut Claude Pompidou, a new center for care and research of Alzheimer disease, in Nice March 10, 2014. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
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