Former France president Nicolas Sarkozy and wife Carla Bruni to sue over taped conversations

'Protecting the secrecy of private conversations one of the founding principles of a democratic society', say lawyers

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni are to file a legal complaint over secret audio recordings made of them by an adviser during the 2012 election campaign, lawyers for the couple said on Thursday.

Revelations that Patrick Buisson, part of Sarkozy's inner circle, recorded hours of talks with the conservative leader and his entourage have caused uproar in the opposition UMP party weeks before local elections.

Sarkozy is expected by many to contest the 2017 presidential election after his defeat by Francois Hollande two years ago.

"Mr Nicolas Sarkozy and Mrs Carla Bruni-Sarkozy cannot accept that remarks made in private were recorded and published without their consent," lawyers Thierry Herzog and Richard Malka said in a statement.

"(They) have decided to prosecute, through an emergency proceeding soon to be filed with the Paris Grand Instance Court, the recording and publication of their conversations," they said.

"Protecting the secrecy of private conversations is ... one of the founding principles of a democratic society."

Excerpts of the tapes were published this week in satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine and right-wing news site Atlantico.fr.

Sarkozy lost the 2012 election to Francois Hollande Sarkozy lost the 2012 election to Francois Hollande Buisson's lawyer, Gilles-William Goldnadel, said on Tuesday the recordings were authentic. He said his client had made them for historical research purposes and had not intended that they be made public.

Breach of privacy in France carries a penalty of up to one year in prison and €45,000 in fines.

In the published excerpts Sarkozy is heard discussing his electoral strategy and a 2011 cabinet reshuffle, while Bruni is recorded joking about how she had to put her modelling career on ice while she was France's first lady.

"I thought I was marrying a guy with a salary ... I had big contracts and now nothing," she is heard saying, adding that if Sarkozy went on to lose the election she at least could re-activate her career and start selling anti-wrinkle cream.

French media have said dozens of hours of further material could emerge from recordings that date back to 2011.

Goldnadel said the recordings, which Buisson made using a device in his pocket and later uploaded to his personal computer, had been stolen from Buisson and that he would file a complaint for theft against "persons unknown".

"There will be an investigation to determine exactly how these recordings were taken," Goldnadel told BFM TV. He added that his client thought he knew who had stolen them, but did not give names.

Reuters

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments