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Sarkozy put under formal investigation

French judicial authorities have decided to open a formal investigation into allegations of influence peddling by former President Nicolas Sarkozy in a case linked to his 2007 election campaign.

French news agency AFP says authorities are opening the investigation to decide whether or not to press charges.

On Tuesday, Sarkozy became the first former French president to be taken into police custody. He then appeared before a court in Paris and was later reportedly released.

Investigators suspect Sarkozy used his influence to obtain information from a judge about a probe into alleged funding irregularities in his 2007 presidential campaign.
He is believed to have promised the judge a new post in return for the information.

Sarkozy has been out of politics since his defeat in the 2012 presidential election. But observers believe he's aiming at a comeback in the next election in 2017.

Jul. 2, 2014 - Updated 04:10 UTC