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Nicolas Sarkozy Held In Corruption Inquiry
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy is being held for questioning over suspected "influence peddling".
Detectives want to know if he promised a top role in Monaco to a high-ranking judge for information about an investigation into alleged illegal campaign funding.
They are looking into claims that Mr Sarkozy was warned his phone was being bugged as part of the funding probe.
The judge, Gilbert Azibert, a senior appeal court judge, was called in for questioning on Monday.
A second judge, Patrick Sassoust, was also quizzed, along with Mr Sarkozy's lawyer Thierry Herzog.
The alleged illegal funding campaign is said to have been funded by the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Mr Sarkozy, 59, is being quizzed by detectives at their offices in Nanterre, west of Paris.
It is the first time a former head of state had been held for questioning in modern French history.
The conservative politician denies wrongdoing in a string of inquiries which could derail his hopes of a comeback after his 2012 presidential election defeat by Francois Hollande.
Asked about the matter, French government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said Mr Sarkozy was "subject to justice just like everyone else."
Suspicions Mr Sarkozy and his lawyer kept tabs on the funding probe through well-connected informants arose after a legal phone-tappng operation.
The case is one of six involving Mr Sarkozy, including a new one this year into alleged irregularities in his unsuccessful 2012 election campaign.
In March last year Mr Sarkozy was placed under formal investigation, accused of accepting envelopes stuffed with cash from heiress Liliane Bettencourt to illegally finance his 2007 election campaign.
However, he was later cleared of taking unfair advantage of Ms Bettencourt, who is 91 and France's richest woman.
The L'Oreal heiress was diagnosed with dementia in 2006 and was placed under the guardianship of her family in 2011.
Mr Sarkozy lost his immunity from prosecution when he was beaten in the 2012 presidential election by his Socialist opponent.
Since then he has had to contend with a string of allegations relating to his five years in power and various election campaigns.
If he is charged and found guilty of "influence peddling", he could face up to 10 years in jail.