2nd set of recordings targets France's Sarkozy

AP News
Posted: Mar 07, 2014 2:00 PM

PARIS (AP) — Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is finding out how little is really private these days.

For the second time this week, a report emerged Friday that Sarkozy's phone calls were recorded.

The newspaper Le Monde reported that judges recorded calls between Sarkozy and his lawyer as part of an investigation that initially targeted Sarkozy's 2007 presidential campaign. Le Monde said transcriptions of the calls — made after Sarkozy left office in 2012 — showed the two men were aware of internal judicial deliberations and were close to a lawyer within the court.

His lawyer, Thierry Herzog, condemned the recordings and told Le Monde there was no question of influence peddling.

"Conversations between a lawyer and his client can't be listened to, much less recorded and transcribed," Herzog said, calling it "monstrous."

However, the head of France's magistrates union says the recordings were done according to French law.

"I don't see what is surprising in itself as soon as Mr. Sarkozy is no longer president" and is treated like any suspect in an investigation, Christophe Regnard told RTL radio.

Earlier this week, French media released audio files of private conversations involving Sarkozy when he was president, recorded by a close aide.

The recordings, along with other legal issues Sarkozy is facing, may dent his reputation as he considers a potential bid for the 2017 presidential election.