Sarkozy denies links to alleged corruption case

AP News
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Posted: Sep 22, 2011 2:19 PM
Sarkozy denies links to alleged corruption case

President Nicolas Sarkozy has distanced himself from a suspected corruption scandal that has roiled the French political class after an investigating magistrate began legal action against two of his close allies.

Investigators are probing whether a French defense deal in the 1990s with Pakistan involving suspected kickbacks set the stage for a Karachi car bombing in 2003 that killed 15 people _ mostly French defense contractors.

In a statement Thursday, Sarkozy's office said his name is not mentioned in any documents linked to the investigation, and lashed out at "slander and political manipulation" over the case.

Investigators on Wednesday filed preliminary charges linked to alleged corruption against two Sarkozy confidants _ former officials Nicolas Bazire and Thierry Gaubert.