World

Ex-president Sarkozy faces charges in French corruption probe linked to campaign funding

  • FILE - This March 10, 2014, file photo shows Former french President Nicolas Sarkozy during the inauguration of the Foundation Claude Pompidou in Nice, southeastern France. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been detained and is reportedly being questioned by financial investigators in a corruption probe that is rattling France’s conservative political establishment. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File)

    FILE - This March 10, 2014, file photo shows Former french President Nicolas Sarkozy during the inauguration of the Foundation Claude Pompidou in Nice, southeastern France. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been detained and is reportedly being questioned by financial investigators in a corruption probe that is rattling France’s conservative political establishment. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Members of the media stand in front of  the entrance to the anti-corruption office of the French police, Tuesday, July 1, 2014 in Nanterre, near Paris. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been detained and was reportedly being questioned by financial investigators Tuesday in a corruption probe that is rattling France's conservative political establishment. A judicial official said Sarkozy was in custody in the Paris suburb of Nanterre. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

    Members of the media stand in front of the entrance to the anti-corruption office of the French police, Tuesday, July 1, 2014 in Nanterre, near Paris. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been detained and was reportedly being questioned by financial investigators Tuesday in a corruption probe that is rattling France's conservative political establishment. A judicial official said Sarkozy was in custody in the Paris suburb of Nanterre. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This Monday, March 10, 2014, file photo shows former French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Foundation Claude Pompidou, in Nice, French Riviera. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been detained and is reportedly being questioned by financial investigators in a corruption probe that is rattling France’s conservative political establishment. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File)

    FILE - This Monday, March 10, 2014, file photo shows former French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Foundation Claude Pompidou, in Nice, French Riviera. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been detained and is reportedly being questioned by financial investigators in a corruption probe that is rattling France’s conservative political establishment. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File)  (The Associated Press)

Officials say former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is facing preliminary charges in an investigation linked to allegations that he took 50 million euros ($67 million) in illegal campaign funds from Libya's Moammar Gadhafi.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says the allegations against Sarkozy are serious and that the judicial investigation is being carried out independently of the Socialist government, which defeated Sarkozy in elections in 2012.

"No one is above the law," Valls told BFM television Wednesday.

Former Prime Minister Alain Juppe, of Sarkozy's UMP party, tweeted support for Sarkozy: "His defense will show he is innocent, I hope."

The French daily Le Monde says the questioning centers around whether Sarkozy and his lawyer were kept informed about the investigation by a friendly magistrate.