France's former president Nicolas Sarkozy arrives at the Paris courthouse, on Nov 2, 2021, to testify in the case of the Elysee polls. (BERTRAND GUAY / AFP)
PARIS – Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday refused to answer questions from a criminal court during a trial of his former subordinates accused of favoritism, conspiracy and misuse of public funds, local media reported.
According to BFMTV, the judge asked Nicolas Sarkozy several questions to which the former president refused to answer, explaining that if he answered the judge's questions, "the separation of powers would no longer exist"
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According to BFMTV, the judge asked Sarkozy several questions to which the former president refused to answer, explaining that if he answered the judge's questions, "the separation of powers would no longer exist."
"There is a principle which goes far beyond me, which is called the separation of powers. I am not accountable for the organization of my cabinet or for the way in which I exercised my mandate to a court, but to the French people," he said at the court.
He said his summon was "completely unconstitutional" and "totally disproportionate."
The trial involves the irregularity of the multi-million contracts concluded between the French presidential office Elysee and nine pollsters during Sarkozy's mandate (2007-2012). Under French laws, these deals were not supposed to be negotiated in private, thus not respecting transparency and competitive bidding.
READ MORE: French court finds ex-President Sarkozy guilty of corruption
All the five former aides of Sarkozy are charged with possible acts of favoritism and embezzlement of public funds.
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