Just after this announcement, the UMP party main executives – as Guillaume Peltier, Patrick Balkany or Henri Guaino – immediately reacted and strongly criticized what they consider as a manipulation, not to say a manoeuvre targeting the ex-president of the French Republic questioning the partiality and the independence of justice, and a political decision as Thierry Herzog, Nicolas Sarkozy’s lawyer.
The former head of State investigation procedure is the logical consequence of an inquiry in which Nicolas Sarkozy seems to have a major role. Of course, it is too early to determine the guiltiness or not of the ex-president all the more so as the presumption of innocence must be applied and considered for Nicolas Sarkozy as for any French person sued by justice. Nonetheless, the UMP leaders’ excessive reactions vis-à-vis the decision of justice shows a certain disregard for the French judicial system and for some judges who only did their work and their duty.
Thus, some UMP members do not hesitate to deal with manoeuvre, plot against the former leader, a plot led by François Hollande who, embarrassed by the former minister of Budget Jérôme Cahuzac’s constrained resignation, is looking for creating a diversion, focusing justice and media on Nicolas Sarkozy. This is a very non-sense point of view insofar as the justice time does not follow the politics one, this is a pure coincidence.
Indeed, rather a so-called manoeuvre or manipulation, it is rather a stick-back for Nicolas Sarkozy who hugely disregarded judges and the French justice, trying with no success to reduce their influence and prerogatives, proposing for instance the removal of the “juge d’instruction (the French examining magistrate) or comparing judges to tasteless green peas. The investigation procedure is a kind of boomerang hitting Nicolas Sarkozy’s face who will have to give explanations as any citizen on his role and his involvement in the financing of his 2007 presidential campaign and, moreover, pays his arrogance and his disregard vis-à-vis the judges. After all, he did not hesitate to say judge Gentil (the person who is investigating, from Bordeaux, in the Bettencourt Affair and decided to sue Sarkozy) made confusion between Lilianne Bettencourt and Ingrid Betencourt as far as the name of the person written in his 2007 agendas he presented to the judge?
As I wrote before, it is still too early to determine the guiltiness or not of the ex-French president. This is the role of justice to do it, all the more so as investigation procedures was sometimes concluded by a case dismissed, due to the absence of solid and tangible proof. Nonetheless, this case happens in a bad moment for the ex-president in the perspective of 2017 mainly, despites a poll made by Le Parisien (a conservative and popular daily) explaining 2/3 of polled French people consider Sarkozy still has a political future. In fact, and in the hypothesis of a full and active come-back in politics, his future rivals within the UMP party (as Jean-François Copé, François Fillon or Xavier Bertrand) will not hesitate to remind he was under investigation procedure, in order to show their difference with the ex-president. Sarkozy is aware of that, as is aware this case is going to poison his probable come-back strategy.