FRANCE 24 reported that Sarkozy, his lawyer Thierry Herzog, and former judge Gilbert Azibert face charges stemming from allegations that Sarkozy accepted illicit payments from L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt during his successful 2007 presidential campaign.
Prosecutors suspect Sarkozy and Herzog were seeking information on developments in that investigation and claim and Sarkozy offered Azibert a prestigious job in Monaco in exchange for an update on developments.
Sarkozy has faced multiple corruption investigations since leaving office in 2012. Reuters reports that investigators began eavesdropping on Sarkozy and Herzog's phone calls as part of an investigation into whether the late Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi illegally gave money to Sarkozy's 2007 campaign.
Prosecutors have also claimed that Sarkozy spent $48 million on his reelection effort - almost double the legal limit in France - using fake invoices. Sarkozy put the blame on executives at the public relations firm Bygmalion and said he was unaware of the bogus billings and fraud.
Sarzkozy unsuccessfully sought the nomination of the center-right Les Républicains party in the 2017 French presidential election and has largely stayed out of politics since then.