While the cases are separate, the wiretapping case arose out of the Libya investigation, which began in 2013 and led investigators to place wiretaps on phones belonging to Messrs. Sarkozy and Herzog, his lawyer.
Through wiretapping, prosecutors say, investigators discovered in 2014 that Messrs. Sarkozy and Herzog were using secret phone lines and that the two had discussed ways to obtain confidential information on another case involving the former president which was being handled by France’s main appeals. court.
Prosecutors say Mr. Sarkozy illegally sought to obtain information from Mr. Azibert, then a magistrate at the court, in particular by promising to use his influence to find a job as a judge in Monaco.
The job never materialized, but under French law prosecutors do not have to prove that a bribery deal was made to get a conviction – only this was agreed to. Mr. Herzog, 65, and Mr. Azibert also deny any wrongdoing.
Paul-Albert Iweins, one of Mr. Herzog’s lawyers, said the wiretaps of conversations between Mr. Sarkozy and Mr. Herzog violated attorney-client confidentiality and that the discussions between Mr. Herzog and Mr. Azibert were just simple conversations between Mr. Buddies.
“All this, these are little bits of sentences that have been taken out of context,” Mr. Iweins told Franceinfo radio on Monday.
Mr Sarkozy is due to stand trial next year in another case concerning his 2012 campaign in which he was accused of exceeding strict limits on election spending. Other cases against Mr Sarkozy have been dropped, including one in which he was accused of manipulating the heir to the L’Oréal cosmetics fortune to finance his 2007 campaign.