PARIS - Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was placed under formal investigation by magistrates in Paris on Wednesday morning on suspicion of influence peddling and other crimes in connection with a campaign leaks probe, the prosecutor's office said.

It was the second time the former president, who was defeated by Socialist Francois Hollande in 2012, was placed under such a judicial probe since he lost his legal immunity after leaving office. Sarkozy has denied any wrongdoing.

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Under French law, being placed under formal investigation indicates there exists "serious or consistent evidence" pointing to probable implication of a suspect in a crime.


The case relates to suspicions he used his influence to get information on an investigation into funding irregularities in his victorious 2007 election campaign.