Sarkozy denounces phone tapping

Friday, March 21, 2014

In a letter, the former French president condemns

In a letter, the former French president condemns "Stasi" methods.

PARIS - Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy likened the phone tapping conducted by judges investigating him for corruption to those committed by the "Stasi", East Germany's infamous state police during the Cold war, in a letter published by French daily Le Figaro on Friday.

Breaking silence for the first time since losing the presidential election in 2012, Sarkozy deemed the tapping of his phones a politically motivated action and rejected several corruption accusations against him.

“Today, all who telephone me must know that they are being listened to," he wrote. "This is not an excerpt from the marvelous film 'The Life of Others' on East Germany and the activities of the Stasi [...] This is about France."

Current President Francois Hollande, his opponent in the 2012 election, called the Stasi reference “unbearable” in Brussels on Friday. “Our country is democratic, and proud to be recognized as the human rights country," he insisted. "There can be no place for doubt.”

In his letter entitled “What I want to say to the French people”, Sarkozy openly questions Hollande and the government’s involvement in the phone tapping. 

“I know, the Minister of Justice was not aware of anything despite all the reports she requested and received," he writes. "The Interior Minister was not aware despite the dozens of police officers assigned to my case. Who are we kidding?”

“The sacred principles of our Republic are being trampled with never-before-seen violence and an unprecedented lack of scruples,” added Sarkozy.

French daily Le Monde revealed earlier this month that judges had allowed the tapping of Sarkozy’s phones alongside his lawyer Thierry Herzog over allegations on funding for his 2007 presidential campaign by former Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi.

On Wednesday, the Internet news site Mediapart revealed part of the content of these wiretappings.

During this investigation, it was suspected that a judge in the court of appeals was regularly tipping off Sarkozy about the progress of another case in which the former president is implicated.

Sarkozy denied any inappropriate contact with the judiciary by him or his lawyer, stating that no evidence had been found “despite months of inquiry.”

While Nicolas Sarkozy is widely expected to again run for President in 2017, he insisted in his letter that he had no desire to return to politics.  

“Contrary to what is written daily, I have no desire to resume political life in our country,” he writes.

According to a poll conducted recently by the French Institute of Public Opinion (Ifop), 62 percent of center-right Union for a Popular Movement  (UMP) supporters wish Sarkozy to be the party candidate in the presidential election in 2017.

In a similar but unrelated affair, earlier this month, recordings and transcripts of private conversations between the former president and some of his advisers were leaked and published in the media.

The recordings were made, unbeknownst to Sarkozy, by one of his most trusted advisers, Patrick Buisson who wished to use them for a potential book project.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency