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French ex-president Sarkozy held for questioning

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy (L)

By Nicholas Vinocur

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was held for questioning on Tuesday over suspicions that he received leaked details of an inquiry into alleged irregularities in his 2007 election campaign.

It was the first time a former head of state had been held for questioning in modern French history and is the latest blow to Sarkozy’s hopes of a come-back after his 2012 election defeat by Francois Hollande. The conservative politician denies all wrongdoing in a string of investigations involving him.

Sarkozy arrived early Tuesday to be quizzed by investigators at their offices in Nanterre, west of Paris, after his lawyer was held for questioning on Monday.

“Mr. Sarkozy has been summoned to Nanterre and is being held for questioning,” the source told Reuters.

Asked about the matter, government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said Sarkozy was “subject to justice like everyone else.”

“Justice authorities are investigating and have to go all the way,” he told i

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