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This is the first time that the former head of state and his companion agree to let themselves be photographed together.

[June 19 Hollande to Julie’s loft in a trendy district ]

 

hollande-gayet-les-details-etonnants-d-un-couple-devenu-normal

 

picture

Finished with the Elysee! François Hollande organizes his new life with Julie Gayet . The former president elected to move to the home to the actress, a loft in a trendy district of eastern Paris. In this couple almost like the others, it is madame who leaves the dog when gentleman leaves to the office. A life, this time, normal, far from the golden cage of the Castle.

 

 

June 29 2015 Julie Gayet attends official ceremony ]

François Hollande and Julie Gayet attended the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of General de Gaulle’s appeal of June 18,. The entourage of the head of state insisted that Julie Gayet was present “as the granddaughter of Alain Gayet, the Liberation companion” At the ceremony of Mont Valerien, actress accompanied her parents and her grandfather, Alain Gayet, 92, hero of Liberation. She was in the gallery, not at the side of the head of state

[April 23 Julie Gayet, now the châtelaine]

chatelaine: the mistress of an elegant or fashionable household.   1845, from French châtelaine

chatelaine: the mistress of an elegant or fashionable household. 1845, from French châtelaine “a female castellan; wife of a castellan; mistress of a castle or country house;” fem. of châtelain, from Old French chastelain “owner and lord of a castle, castellan, nobleman,” from chastel (see chateau ).

[February 15 “Same terrorist targets “, says French President Francois Hollande, at the Danish embassy in Paris]

Like it or not, Julie Gayet is the natural extension of François Hollande, even if it appears there is no official link.

Like it or not, Julie Gayet is the natural extension of François Hollande, even if it appears there is no official link.

“It was the same targets that were chosen by the terrorists”, said Hollande, speaking on a visit to the Danish embassy in Paris. “We see there is a link that doesn’t show there is a network but does show the terrorists are determined to hit what we are, what we represent, the values of freedom, of law, of protection that every citizen — whatever his or her religion — should have,” the president added.

[January 5 Socialists win because of “perfect” response of Francois Hollande to the terror attacks.]

“In ‘Merci pour ce moment,’ Valérie is the embodiment of a woman’s struggle to scream the truth,”  said movie  Producer Saïda Jawad.   Trierweiler’s book  details the reporter’s seven year relationship with the French president, including his year-long affair with actress Julie Gayet.

“In ‘Merci pour ce moment,’ Valérie is the embodiment of a woman’s struggle to scream the truth,” said movie Producer Saïda Jawad. Trierweiler’s book details the reporter’s seven year relationship with the French president, including his year-long affair with actress Julie Gayet.

Frederic Barbier, the Socialist candidate at the by-election in Doubs, eastern France, who won 51.4% of the vote, said his victory over Sophie Montel, National Front, had been helped in part by the “perfect” response of France’s leaders to the terror attacks.

[January 25 Sanctions ‘must stop now’, Francois Hollande expects a resolution to Ukraine crisis]

Valérie Trierweiler's bestseller on Hollande relationship to be made into film.   Romarin films is currently seeking French and international co-producers.   Trierweiler's book was widely panned in France as a poorly written, self-pitying and vulgarly prurient invasion of the French president's private life.   Despite the furore, initial sales surpassed Fifty Shades of Grey.

Valérie Trierweiler’s bestseller on Hollande relationship to be made into film. Romarin films is currently seeking French and international co-producers. Trierweiler’s book was widely panned in France as a poorly written, self-pitying and vulgarly prurient invasion of the French president’s private life. Despite the furore, initial sales surpassed Fifty Shades of Grey.

Willem Dafoe is of French, German, English, Irish, and Scottish descent.

Willem Dafoe is of French, German, English, Irish, and Scottish descent.

The French president today called for the lifting of the West’s economic sanctions on Russia, saying: ‘Mr Putin does not want to annex eastern Ukraine. He has told me that.’
Saying the sanctions ‘must stop now’, Francois Hollande said he was expecting progress on a resolution to the Ukraine crisis at international talks in Kazakhstan in 10 days.

 

 

[December 6 Hollande one of the first Western leaders to visit the Russian president since his annexation of Crimea]

Julie Gayet at Beirut Film Festival

Julie Gayet at Beirut Film Festival

Updated Dec. 6, 2014 1:15 p.m. ET French President Franaçois Hollande stopped over in Moscow on December 6 for a surprise meeting with Vladimir Putin to discuss the crisis in Ukraine, becoming one of the first Western leaders to visit the Russian president since his annexation of Crimea.

[No0vember 6 Hollande keen to deal with oil-rich Canada]

The photos that surfaced November 6 are the first time Gayet has been caught on camera coming out of the Elysee palace.   The magazine said the photographs were taken on Oct. 30, on the actress' return to Paris after taking part in Tokyo Film Festival.

The photos that surfaced November 6 are the first time Gayet has been caught on camera coming out of the Elysee palace. The magazine said the photographs were taken on Oct. 30, on the actress’ return to Paris after taking part in Tokyo Film Festival.

French President François Hollande on November 3 addressed the Canadian federal parliament as the two countries prepare for a new trade pact.
Officials say Hollande, the first French President to visit Canada in 25 years, is keen to show that France, which already has close ties to French-speaking Quebec, is also interested in stronger ties with English-speaking Canada, particularly the oil-rich west.

[September 3 Valérie Trierweiler’s expense account revealed = riposte: she tried suicide]

In 2013. Valarie served as France's first lady

In 2013. Valarie served as France’s first lady

 

 

Valérie Trierweiler cost the French taxpayer €481,900 (£381,000) in 2013 as France’s “first lady”, according to an official audit.

The revelation in a report by the court of auditors prompted Trierweiler’s son Léonard to spring to her defence as it raised fresh comparisons with the lavish spending of her predecessors in the Elysée Palace, the wife and former wife of Nicolas Sarkozy.

The audit of palace spending in 2013 found that Trierweiler’s staff of five cost €396,900. The travel expenses of the former partner of President François Hollande, for official duties and journeys linked to humanitarian work, were put at €85,000.

She also had four bodyguards, whose costs were not quantified in the report by the court of auditors, which was released on Tuesday evening, as well as grace and favour offices in a palatial Paris mansion.

Valérie Trierweiler made suicide bid in the Elysée Palace after Gayet affair revealed.
François Hollande was forced to wrestle sleeping pills from the hand of his furious lover Valérie Trierweiler as she tried to commit suicide following the collapse of their relationship.

French actress Julie Gayet, whose affair with President Francois Hollande made headlines worldwide, on September 2 won a privacy case against a photographer who snapped her in her car.

Julie Gayet attends the Opening Ceremony and 'Birdman' premiere during the 71st Venice Film Festival at Palazzo Del Cinema on August 27, 2014 in Venice, Italy.

Julie Gayet attends the Opening Ceremony and ‘Birdman’ premiere during the 71st Venice Film Festival at Palazzo Del Cinema on August 27, 2014 in Venice, Italy.

[August 14 Francois Hollande celebrates his birthday with family]

Another beach, another dump

Another beach, another dump

 Valerie Trierweiler

Valerie Trierweiler

Francois Hollande’s affair with the actress Julie Gayet appears to be over after she was seen on holiday with Pierre Puybasset, manager at Financial Exchequer, Paris, and he went off on a break alone.
Valerie Trierweiler, 49, had to leave the Elysee Palace when Mr Hollande’s secret affair with Miss Gayet, a 42-year-old actress, was made public.

[June 28 Valerie Trierweiler decorations at Presidential summer residence removed]

a riposte to Hollande travels...no limo now,  take the subway

a riposte to Hollande travels…no limo now, takes the subway, March 1]

VALÉRIE TRIERWEILER:Her traces erased from the Fort of Brégançon. François Hollande did not retain the changes made ​​by the former first lady at the summer residence of the Presidents in the South of France …. “These acquisitions have now disappeared, recovered by the Office of National Furniture with crockery, linen and furniture of the garden, ”
[February 12]

 swimwear photo brings writ

swimwear photo brings writ

Valerie Trierweiler, former partner of French president Francois Hollande in Mauritius

Valerie Trierweiler, former partner of French president Francois Hollande in Mauritius But Hollande ain’t seen nothing yet — wait until Trierweiler, a journalist known for her quick, acid tongue, gets her turn at the mike.

Hotel Paradis in Mauritius

Fouille-merde: Valerie Trierweiler after Hollande: Valerie Trierweiler, former partner of French president Francois Hollande, has issued a writ against French Closer magazine for publishing pictures of her in her swimwear while on holiday in Mauritius


Judge Anne-Marie Sauteraud however said Ms Trierweiler “could not ignore that by bathing in a two-piece swimsuit on the beach of the official presidential retreat, she risked being photographed”.

World | Agence France-Presse | Updated: October 24, 2012

But France is there when it counts
[January 31]

Julie Gayet in the French film by Bertrand Tavernier, “Quai d’Orsay”.

President Hollande has a date with President Obama in Washington on February 11. His good friend Julie Gayet has a date in Paris with the Cesar Award ceremony on Feb. 28.

Julie Gayet is nominated for the French ‘Oscar’. Actress Julie Gayet, 41.,a supporting actress in Bertrand Tavernier’s Quai d’Orsay, a comedy about life at the French foreign ministry, has been nominated for a Cesar, the most prestigious prize in French cinema. Ms Gayet has been keeping a very low profile, although friends have been saying she has no intention of trying to become the next first lady.

Guardian: “Gayet co-stars as a vampish policy adviser on Africa who will reportedly stop at nothing to gain an advantage over her rivals.”

Variety: “Arthur finds himself sabotaged for sport by one colleague (Julie Gayet, as the seductive policy advisor on Africa)”

Le Monde: ” The other members are also tasty, especially … Julie Gayet (Councillor Africa ).”

And as if that were not enough, Julie Gayet will compete with … Marisa Borini , mother of Carla Bruni (!) for her role in A castle in Italy
Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, is an Italian-French singer, songwriter and former model. She married the then President of the French Republic Nicolas Sarkozy in February 2008. Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy believes he can capitalise on the fallout from Hollande’s decision to end his relationship with former first lady Valerie Trierweiler following the revelation of his affair with actress Julie Gayet.

Sarkozy, who divorced his second wife Cecilia and started living with former supermodel Carla Bruni during his time in office, has been reluctant to say too much about the saga in public. In private however, Sarkozy has reportedly been rubbing his hands with glee over a scandal that he believes will do further damage to his rival’s standing, particularly with women voters turned off by the curt 18-word statement Hollande used to announce the end of his relationship with Trierweiler.

[June 29]

During her two-day visit to India on behalf of the French charity Action Contre la Faim (Action Against Hunger) she visited a slum and witnessed a feeding program for malnourished children.She told AFP during the India trip that she would like to extend her humanitarian work – ‘‘especially towards poor children’’.The 48-year-old, who is still employed as an arts writer by the French magazine Paris Match, said she planned to continue charity work rather than returning to her previous role as a political journalist.

In May 2012, during the hard-fought elections for France’s National Assembly, when Trierweiler, a heavy Twitter user, tweeted her support for a candidate who was running against Ségolène Royal, the mother of Hollande’s four children, with whom he lived for many years (and whom he finally left for Trierweiler). Royal lost the race, dashing Hollande’s hopes for having her as an ally in the fractious parliament.

Though Trierweiler tried hard to make amends for her mistake in subsequent posts, the tweet was never forgotten. As the months went on, the doubts about her emerged at odd moments. While Hollande was on a visit inside France one day, a woman in the crowd bluntly told him, “don’t marry Valérie Trierweiler, we don’t like her,” leaving the president speechless; the video of the scene played heavily on French TV

[January 25]

France’s first lady, Valerie Trierweiler, sent a farewell message January 25 via Twitter to staff at the presidential palace, a move that comes after President Francois Hollande reportedly announced the couple is splitting up. “All my gratitude goes to the extraordinary people at the Élysées. I will never forget the devotion or emotion at the time of leaving,” she wrote.

michelle obama valerie trierweiler

Valerie and Michelle

Valerie Trierweiler has already met the Obamas

Valerie Trierweiler has already met the Obamas

Ms Trierweiler is travelling to India on January 26 support of the work of the French charity Action Against Hunger. . Her second marriage was to Denis Trierweiler, a sub-editor at Paris Match magazine, and a writer and academic. This marriage produced three children and divorce proceedings took three years (2007-2010).

[January 24]

Newly elected president Francois Hollande poses with children in front of his home on May 7, 2012 in Paris, one day after the announcement of the first official results of the French presidential second round.  Flora Hollande Daughter Thomas Hollande Son Julien Hollande Son Clémence Hollande Son

Newly elected president Francois Hollande poses with children in front of his home on May 7, 2012 in Paris, one day after the announcement of the first official results of the French presidential second round. Flora Hollande, Daughter;Thomas Hollande,Son;Julien Hollande,Son;Clémence Hollande,Son [Mr Hollande had a Catholic upbringing and had his four children christened but never married.]

Valerie Trierweiler has told friends that she expects to accompany Francois Hollande on his trip to Washington from 9 February.

Mobilier National, which is responsible for furnishing the official palace of the Republic and the various presidential residences denied published items, saying: ” The National Furniture opposes categorically denied the rumor circulating on the internet regarding a supposed destruction of furniture at the Elysee Palace. This rumor is based on totally false elements . ”

[January 21]
Hollande, who has four children from a previous relationship with fellow Socialist politician Segolene Royal, has reportedly been advised to be a “bachelor president” while the public digests the news of the affair.

“If there must be a split, it must be dignified and elegant regarding Valerie Trierweiler,” one of Hollande’s advisers reportedly told French newspaper Le Figaro Monday. “And above all, Julie Gayet mustn’t instantly move into the Elysee.” Then again…

[January 19]

 Collapsed and humiliated, she found herself caught between her huge distress and his impetuosity, her questions about her future and her anger. Today, Valérie Trierweiler is perhaps at the end of a path. She was attracted to the lure of power. She learned she acted, she suffered, she knows hardness and cruelty of public life.

Collapsed and humiliated, she found herself caught between her huge distress and his impetuosity, her questions about her future and her anger. Today, Valérie Trierweiler is perhaps at the end of a path. She was attracted to the lure of power. She learned she acted, she suffered, she knows hardness and cruelty of public life.

Valérie Trierweiler left Saturday the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, where she stayed for eight days. Story of a difficult week.

More than a week cloistered in a room of the Salpêtrière, surrounded by guards and nurses, with her iPhone for company! Very dejected, voltage at half-mast, she dined on the ham-shells of the hospital, not the little delicacies of the Elysee. She saw almost no one except her son, the youngest, everyday, her mother and brother from time to time.

Tuesday from her bed she watched the press conference of the President of the Republic on the mini-screen of her iPhone, because her room had no TV or iPad. This is not to say that she was disappointed by the necessity he had to evade the problem. She thought for a moment to attend this conference. The doctors have dissuaded. Too weak. No need to vanish amid flashes and microphones.

Thursday, Valérie Trierweiler told her son she wanted at all costs to leave the hospital to resume her life. She was better. But curiously, late Friday morning, her son was no longer welcome at his bedside. Conspicuously absent, she seemed asleep very deeply. His son explodes, concerned with the physician. She was told that her mother needs rest.

The previous evening, Thursday 21 am at 15 hours, Francois Hollande, who still remains her official companion visited her for half an hour. They did not jumped into each other’s arms, that is no longer there. He told her he “needed time”. This is why they have agreed for her to stay at La Lanterne “pending.” Waiting for what? This is the problem.

With 19 months to run in as undefined First Lady under the eyes of French and under the scrutiny of the world press, with many public appearances, with the drivers, assistants, bodyguards, dresses fashion function, it will be difficult descending into everyday life. Become anonymous? Impossible! Valerie never wanted to let go of her original job: Articles for Paris Match. An anchor. A kind of insurance? The apartment on rue Cauchy in the 15th where the couple lived before the election is in the name of Francois Hollande. He will have his home in it? Imagine the anxiety.

It will take time, years, to collect the most violent shock of his life: the deception of the man who was his companion for 8 years. The worst: read in the press that the story with Julie Gayet had begun before the election … Valerie oscillates between depression and rage.

WHY THIS HOSPITAL?

Upon publication of pictures of “Closer” after a tough call – confessions – with François Hollande, she would have taken some sleeping pills, just to find some respite from a sleep that could not, she may be swallowed a tablet too. But it is not the mother of three boys, hardworking, very rooted in reality that will make a suicide attempt. The next day she wakes up in the Elysée, nauseous, unwell, it would be worse. “Services” the Elysee advised her to be hospitalized, to create distance.

Ideally, the Presidency wished not to publicize her hospitalization but Valérie Trierweiler wasfirm that the information leaked. Contrary to what you read, Ségolène Royal has never gone to visit Valerie at the Salpetriere, she let go, telling a confidante that “Francis did not know howto be true.” Sex is a dividend of power? Or just a taste for the secret love? At the Elysee, they already tried to turn the page …

Eight days, Valerie finds herself alone to handle everything. Collapsed and humiliated, she found herself caught between her huge distress and his impetuosity, her questions about her future and her anger. Today, Valérie Trierweiler is perhaps at the end of a path. She wasattracted to the lure of power. She learned she acted, she suffered, she knows hardness and cruelty of public life. A lock needs to turn slowly regain a foothold …

January 12]

'First Lady' has blues

‘First Lady’ has blues

The Elysée Palace said that Ms Trierweiler, 49, had suffered a “severe case of the blues” last Friday after Closer published an article about the alleged affair with Julie Gayet. She was taken to a Paris hospital and is expected to remain until January 12.

[January 10]

‘Around New Year’s Day, French President Francois Hollande, a helmeted head of state, joined Juliet Gayet, the actress, at her apartment, where he has got into the habit of spending the night,’ Closer wrote on its website. Hollande routinely drives through Paris on his scooter to spend the night with his 41-year-old mistress.

[July 18 2011]

 Anne Mansouret is an elected local official for the Socialist party

Anne Mansouret is an elected local official for the Socialist party

According to a report by the French magazine L’Express, Mansouret recently revealed to the special prosecutor investigating Tristane’s case that she had a very real, very messy reason for advising her daughter as she did: her own sexual past with DSK.

Mansouret told the prosecutor that she had a single, violent sexual encounter that took place in the OECD building in Paris, where DSK worked as special advisor to the organization’s Secretary General. L’Express in french a Socialist Party politician, François Hollande, took an interest in the matter. according to Le Nouvel Observateur
Investigators interviewed Tristane Banon’s mother, Anne Mansouret July 13, who said she collected her daughter from the scene of the alleged assault in a state of shock. Anne Mansouret is an elected local official for the Socialist party, and has said that senior members of the party were made aware of the assault.

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President Hollande stands low just now in opinion polls. Nicolas Sarkozy’s problem is that he first needs to win a primary in November. He is no longer the champion of the right, but rather the challenger: His former foreign minister, Alain Juppé, 71, leads in the primary race. And a former prime minister, François Fillon, who is also running, is crucifying his ex-boss for comparing himself to de Gaulle. (“Can you imagine de Gaulle under investigation?” he lashed out recently, in a reference to long-running charges against Mr. Sarkozy of illegal campaign financing.)

So why should France need Mr. Sarkozy in 2017 if it did not want him in 2012? Because, as he explains in his new book, this is not the same country. The situation created by the recent wave of terrorist attacks requires a strong, experienced man at the helm, this argument goes. “I felt I had the strength to lead this battle at such a tormented moment in our history,” he wrote. Some saw in the title “All for France” a reference to a book written by Jacques Chirac for his 1995 campaign, “La France pour tous” (“France for All”). By reversing the proposition, Mr. Sarkozy hopes that his new patriotic spirit will prevail

 

41ljz8ma0wl-_sx309_bo1204203200_

 

 

If this book has any meaning, perhaps its utility is that the time has come for clarity. I wanted to make the effort to go and get, in my heart, my truth on my mistakes as on my successes. I mean to say, without artifice, what I really believe in for the future. The only verdict that really important to me is yours, the readers.    In any political horizon that I may seek I mean less to seduce than to encourage understanding of the complexity of situations and the sequence of events.

 

 

 

[June 27 2015    Sarkozy: IMSI, Bettencourt, Bygmalion, “Kazakh-gate” ]

Keeping track of all those cases can be difficult. So here is a rundown of four of the most current and high-profile investigations involving Nicolas Sarkozy, with ratings on a scale of 1 to 10 of the potential to damage him.

1. The IMSI-catcher — 8/10

The case: In 2013, investigating judge Serge Tournaire was looking into allegations that members of Sarkozy’s entourage solicited funds from Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi to finance their boss’s 2007 presidential campaign. As part of that probe he ordered police to tap the mobile phones of Sarkozy and his lawyer, Thierry Herzog.

Suspicious of surveillance, the two men took to communicating instead over throwaway phones that had been purchased under a false name, Herzog told Le Monde in an interview last year.

The police caught on to this scheme, too. Using a scanning device known as an IMSI-catcher, they picked up the signal emanating from Sarkozy’s residence in western Paris and put new taps on both phones, which delivered the most problematic evidence yet revealed in public about the former president.

In excerpts of recorded conversations between Sarkozy and Herzog, which were originally published in the Mediapart newspaper, the two men allegedly discuss the planned seizure of evidence in yet another investigation, involving heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

They refer to a “friend” who is informed and can intercede to stop the evidence being seized. According to Mediapart and Le Monde, Herzog mentions that the man wants a posting in the principality of Monaco and Sarkozy says that he can help.

Judge Tournaire, arguing that the offer to help amounted to an attempt to grant a favor in exchange for information about a secret investigation, placed Sarkozy under formal investigation for violating the secrecy of legal proceedings, corruption and influence-peddling.

In French criminal law, a formal investigation means there is “serious or consistent” evidence of implication in a crime. It brings a suspect one step closer to trial. However, some are dropped without going to court.

What Sarkozy says: He has denied all wrongdoing. In a TV interview last July, Sarkozy pointed out that the friend discussed in the taped conversation, a magistrate named Gilbert Azibert, never got his job in Monaco. He refers to a another taped conversation that was never leaked to the press in which he allegedly withdrew his offer of help to Azibert.

Sarkozy also rejected the notion that he had used an intermediary to influence the Bettencourt investigation. He said that Azibert had exerted no influence because the court authorized the seizure of evidence — an appointment diary — against his wishes. “Where is there influence-peddling?” Sarkozy asked.

Still, Sarkozy’s lawyers appealed to have the tapes suppressed as evidence — an appeal that a court rejected after eight months of deliberation. Sarkozy’s legal team has lodged another appeal motion with the high Court of Cassation, but the investigation is ongoing while the motion considered.
If it is rejected, Sarkozy could be indicted on charges related to the accusations in the formal investigation. A state-appointed prosecutor would then try the case.

2. The Bettencourt affair — 1/10

The case: In 2010, L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt’s accountant, Claire Thibout, told Mediapart that conservative politicians including Sarkozy collected envelopes stuffed with cash at the billionaire’s house. She alleged that Eric Woerth, treasurer of Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign, had been given an envelope containing €150,000 in cash shortly before the vote.

If proven, this would have amounted to a violation of French campaign finance law, which limits contributions to €7,500 for political parties and €4,500 for individuals.

In 2013, two judges in Bordeaux placed Sarkozy under formal investigation for trying to take advantage of a vulnerable person to take money from her. They had by that time stopped trying to prove he used the money to finance his campaign. A few months later Sarkozy’s name was removed altogether from the list of suspects.

Woerth, however, was charged with influence-peddling and illegal political financing. The judges also charged several people in Bettencourt’s entourage, including her “confidante,” François-Marie Banier, and her accountant, Patrice de Maistre, with fraud, taking advantage of a vulnerable person and money laundering.

In May 2015, a Bordeaux court handed down jail sentences for Banier and De Maistre but acquitted Woerth. The president of the court said that while there was a “strong suspicion” that Woerth had taken advantage of Bettencourt’s weakness to take money from her, evidence was lacking to prove it.
What Sarkozy says: Sarkozy maintained his innocence throughout the investigation. In a Facebook post after he was removed from the list of suspects, he denounced people who had questioned his probity during his 2007 presidential campaign.

Woerth, who sweated out years of investigation, is now a senior official in Sarkozy’s party, Les Républicains.

While the case is officially over, it lives on as part of the IMSI-catcher investigation.

According to French media, investigating judges argued that in their secret conversations, Sarkozy and his lawyer were trying to curry favor with a magistrate so he would stop officials from seizing Sarkozy’s appointment diary as evidence in the Bettencourt investigation (the diary was ultimately seized).

While Sarkozy cannot be re-investigated for the Bettencourt allegations, any trial on the newer accusations of influence-peddling would delve into the circumstances of conversations between Sarkozy and his lawyer. That, in turn, could dig up the freshly buried Bettencourt investigation, which took place under his presidency.

3. The Bygmalion affair — 4/10

The case: Judges have placed ten people under formal investigation for their alleged participation in a scheme to cover up campaign spending violations in Sarkozy’s 2012 campaign.

In France, the government sets a ceiling for how much money a campaign can spend in each of two rounds in the presidential election — €22.5 million for the second round in 2012.

Judges argue that Bygmalion, an events company that organized Sarkozy’s campaign rallies, used false invoices to underreport its spending. Then, using another set of invoices, it charged a much higher amount to the center-right UMP party for the same services. Witnesses cited in the French press claimed spending exceeded the legal limit by more than €15 million.

Former UMP chief Jean-François Copé stepped down from his post in the wake of the “Bygmalion” scandal.

What Sarkozy says: In a 2014 meeting with party members, Sarkozy told one who asked him about the Bygmalion affair: “There is a scheme, for sure. But the courts are taking care of it. Let me tell you one thing: The person most determined to make people who have done bad things pay is me!”
Sarkozy is not cited as a suspect in the formal investigation, although judges are trying to determine whether he knew of or encouraged the double-invoicing scheme.

So far, the investigation is ongoing. Here again, if the case is rumbling in the midst of the presidential campaign, Sarkozy could face embarrassing questions about the practices of his own party.

4. “Kazakh-gate” — 3/10

The case: Launched in 2012 by two Parisian judges, the investigation delves into the circumstances surrounding France’s 2010 sale of 45 Eurocopter helicopters to Kazakhstan in a deal worth about €2 billion, according to legal documents cited by Davet and Fabrice Lhomme in Le Monde.

The judges suspect that during a 2009 state visit to Kazakhstan, then-President Sarkozy was asked by President Nursultan Nazarbayev to help out three of his friends who were in legal trouble in Belgium, in exchange for the helicopter contract.

In March Jean-François Etienne des Rosaies, a former envoy under Sarkozy, was placed under formal investigation on suspicion that he received payment for pressuring a Belgian senator to adopt an amendment favorable to Nazarbayev’s three aides. Other close collaborators of Sarkozy are also named in the probe.

Sarkozy is not cited directly in the case. But a public trial of intermediaries allegedly paid by the Élysée to intervene on its behalf could prompt an unpleasant exploration of business practices under Sarkozy’s presidency.

What Sarkozy says: He has denied all wrongdoing.

[ June 22 Dominique Strauss-Kahn: live another day]

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will not testify in the conflict-of-interest trial of Groupe BPCE Executive Chairman Francois Perol. Sarkozy invoked his constitutional immunity as former head of state in refusing to appear as a witness. France’s central bank chief, Christian Noyer, is scheduled to testify Thursday, the court heard as the trial began Monday.
Perol, 51, who took over in 2009 at BPCE, is accused of violating a law prohibiting government officials from taking private-sector jobs in areas they oversaw. If convicted, he faces up to two years in prison and a fine of 30,000 euros.
Perol was Sarkozy’s top economic adviser and deputy chief of staff from 2007 to early 2009, when the government propped up banks including customer-owned lenders Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne. The government encouraged the combination of these two lenders to create BPCE and stem losses at Natixis SA, their common investment-banking division.

[August 29 2011 Dominique Strauss-Kahn more popular than Carla-Bruni Sarkozy?]

Dominique Strauss-Kahn more popular than  Carla-Bruni Sarkozy?

Dominique Strauss-Kahn more popular than Carla-Bruni Sarkozy?

Although those left in the running are not scandal-tainted like Dominique Strauss-Kahn, they lack his charisma and broad appeal. Most come across as unreconstructed Left-wingers who have failed to capitalise on Mr Sarkozy’s current unpopularity. Mr Sarkozy is seeing his own approval ratings slowly climb. He plans to strike a “father of the nation” pose after the timely birth of his child with third wife Carla-Bruni Sarkozy by the end of the year.