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French court to rule on secret Sarkozy tapes

A French court will hear an urgent request on Monday by former president Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, for an injunction forcing the withdrawal of secret recordings made when he was president.

Last week, an extract of conversations between Sarkozy and members of his inner circle in February 2011 that were secretly taped by one of his former Chief strategists, Patrick Buisson, was leaked.

In one of the recordings, Bruni-Sarkozy is heard joking with Sarkozy and two aides about being the main breadwinner in the couple.

The other recordings, which Buisson is believed to have made for historical purposes, relate to a cabinet reshuffle.

The tapes provide insights into how Sarkozy viewed some of his ministers but contain nothing embarrassing for the centre-right politician, who is believed to nurture hopes of a comeback in 2017 elections.

His chief complaint has been over the invasion of his privacy by both Atlantico and Buisson.

“Mr Nicolas Sarkozy and Mrs Carla Bruni-Sarkozy cannot accept that remarks made in private be recorded and published without their consent, the protection of the secrecy of private conversations being one of the foundations of a democratic society,” their lawyers said in a statement.

Two days after the tapes were published, it was revealed that Sarkozy was also being secretly recorded by magistrates investigating his links to late Libyan dictator Moamer Gaddafi.

The paper said Sarkozy’s mobile phone had been placed under a wiretap for nearly a year and that the recordings had shown that a leading prosecutor had been leaking information to Sarkozy’s lawyer about a case involving the ex-president.

Sarkozy served a single term as president between 2007 and 2012. He was defeated by Francois Hollande, a Socialist.

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