NEWS11 October 2012

Ex-president Sarkozy accused of using state funds for private polls

Europe Government

FRANCE— A French anti-corruption group has filed a complaint against former president Nicolas Sarkozy alleging that he used public funds to pay for private polls while in office.

The Guardian reports that the group filed the complaint against Sarkozy on the grounds that polls gauging reaction to Sarkozy’s relationship with wife Carla Bruni and the pregnancy of a minister were of “private interest”, and therefore constituted embezzlement of state funds.

It is also alleged that Sarkozy awarded a €3m, five-year contract to a polling firm owned by one of his key advisers, while other advisers benefited financially because of the deal.

The group, Anticor, estimates that Sarkozy spent €9.4m on polls while in office. It complained about the expenditure in 2010, but at the time Sarkozy enjoyed protection under presidential immunity.