Sarkozy Associate Arrested in Latest Blow to Political Comeback

A close associate of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been arrested hours after a court ruled that a probe into Sarkozy’s 2012 presidential campaign could proceed.

Franck Louvrier, who was Sarkozy’s press relations adviser, was arrested Thursday after being summoned as part of an investigation into alleged fraudulent accounting during Sarkozy’s failed re-election bid, Europe 1 radio and Agence France-Presse reported, citing police officials. A spokeswoman for Sarkozy didn’t respond to messages seeking confirmation.

The Paris appeals court earlier Thursday ruled that investigative magistrates acted properly in tapping the phones of Sarkozy and his lawyer.

“We are in a new episode of showbiz justice,” Sebastien Huyghe, the spokesman of Sarkozy’s UMP party, wrote on his Twitter account. “Is this political justice or independent justice?”

After saying that he was quitting politics, Sarkozy in September returned to lead the right-wing UMP with an eye to running again for president in 2017.

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