France's Sarkozy placed under investigation in campaign funding probe

February 16, 2016 22:38

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was placed under investigation on Tuesday in a scandal over irregularities in his 2012 re-election campaign finances, the Paris Prosecutor said, dealing a serious blow to his hopes of running again in 2017.

Sakozy, 61, was questioned all day by magistrates at the Paris financial prosecutor's office before being notified that he was under investigation for "suspected illegal financing of an election campaign for a candidate, who went beyond the legal limit for electoral spending."

The move is a prelude to a possible trial though it does not lead automatically to prosecution.

However it means the leader of the conservative opposition Republicans party is likely to be tied up in legal proceedings for months to come, making it hard for him to stand in a center-right primary in November ahead of next year's presidential election.

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