When he presented the Legion of Honor on 20 June in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire to the former Secretary of State for the Claude Greff family, Nicolas Sarkozy said, "Life is only a test. Happiness is not in the test avoided, it is in the overcome test. When he pronounces this sentence, the former head of state knows that, despite an avalanche of proceedings, he will not succeed in sparing himself a trial for bribery and trading in influence, unheard of for an ex-president of the Republic, in the Azibert case.
Two days earlier, in fact, the Court of Cassation rejected one of its last actions to oppose his referral to the Criminal Court. If he makes the headlines in recent days for the release of his bestseller "Passions" (Editions de L'Observatoire), Nicolas Sarkozy is aware that he will do it again, presumably in 2020, when he passes shop windows bookstores at the helm of the courthouse.
Does he fear this appointment? "This is not a pleasure," he acknowledged on June 30 on the set of Laurent Delahousse, while claiming a form of serenity: "One day, the whole truth will be made and that day the French will understand that I have never … betrayed their trust. The trial will take place. Everyone will explain. "
"Nicolas Sarkozy is convinced that all this will end with a relaxe. What he says in public on television, he also says in private even if, personally, it is naturally a test, "says one of his very close friends. Several intimates rely on his pugnacity, which he shares with Carla Bruni: "He will make the audience a platform. He started, he sharpens his arguments. He will go to the European Court of Human Rights, "says one of them.
A discreet man on his business
"Clearstream case (Editor's note: in which he had constituted civil party), Bettencourt case (Editor's note: for which he benefited from a dismissal): it flopped every time. And that, he remembers very well, "abounds another. With time, the former president would have even become a bit fatalistic. "He often says: Big responsibilities, big trouble ", Testifies one of the few people to whom Nicolas Sarkozy speaks about his business.
The general opinion is that he does not talk much about the subject with his interlocutors, even regular ones. When one of his collaborators found himself in the legal turmoil, he had given him this advice: "Stop talking about it, it will do you good! We guess that, in spite of everything, the subject hurts. In 2016, in his previous book "France for Life" (Plon), he acknowledged: "I suffered, more than we can think, of these (judicial) episodes. (…) More curiously, and insidiously, I ended up wondering if I was not guilty of a part of what was accused me. "
"Who would not mind getting into a courtroom? He is a lawyer, he knows perfectly well what may happen, "said one of his former advisers at the Elysee. Nicolas Sarkozy has only a moderate confidence in the judges he described in 2007 as "peas". In "Passions", he gives a layer, evoking the members of the Union of the Judiciary and their famous "wall of cons": "We shudder at the mere thought of being able to one day be judged serenely by magistrates capable of such an approach, so contrary to what we are entitled to expect from justice! "
"His return in 2016 is business-related"
"For him, the French are both royalists and regicides. And there is, in his eyes, a sort of delegation of this regicide passion to justice! Slips a confidant. For years, he has cried, in vain, judicial and political relentlessness. "If I put the conversation on this ground, then, it would mean that I'm not comfortable on the bottom," he says now. "The argument held when he was in politics but as he is no longer there, he does not talk about it anymore …" decrypts a relative.
Attacked because politics? Jérôme Lavrilleux believes rather the opposite: "His return in the race at the Elysee in 2016, I am convinced that it is business-related, he wanted to get away. The former deputy director of the 2012 campaign – now in cold weather with him – is being sued with Nicolas Sarkozy in the Bygmalion case, for which a trial now seems inevitable: "It will be worse for him than for me. Because I do not have to go back in History! "