A judge ordered two mobile phones belonging to Nicolas Sarkozy to be examined in relation to a £35million cocaine smuggling scandal, it has been revealed today.
The former French president’s name appears in court papers about an attempt to fly 680kg of the drug out of the Dominican Republic.
Two French pilots involved in the case dubbed ‘Air Cocaine’ made a ‘James Bond-style’ escape from the country last week, leading to accusations that politicians in their own country were involved in setting them free.
Now Instructing Judge Christine Saunier-Ruellan, who is based in Marseille, has confirmed she called for technical data about 60-year-old Mr Sarkozy’s phones to be investigated.
It included ‘details of telephone lines used by Nicolas Sarkozy and his entourage in the period March 2013 and March 2014′.
The judge also wanted ‘detailed bills’ and ‘geolocalisation for the months of March and April 2013’, according to papers obtained by the Journal du Dimanche.
Geolocalisation involves examining phone data to work out exactly where a user is at a particular time.
While the data did not establish any link between Mr Sarkozy and drugs smuggling, he is known to have used the Dassault Falcon 50 jet found with the cocaine on board at Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, on March 19 2013.
Mr Sarkozy was on the plane at least three times between December 2012 and February 2013, for flights from Paris to Bordeaux where he was being questioned over a separate corruption scandal.
Invoices were made out to the LOV Group, a finance company focusing on sectors including online gambling and luxury hotels.
LOV is owned by the multi-millionaire businessman Stephane Courbit, a close personal friend of Mr Sarkozy and his third wife, the former supermodel Carla Bruni.
A total of 10 bills related to use of the Dassault Falcon 50 have made out to the LOV Group, including the three linked to Mr Sarkozy.
French pilots Pascal Fauret, 55, and Bruno Odos, 56, were handed two decades jail sentences earlier this year by judges in Santo Domingo.
The pair was first arrested along with two other men in 2013 as they prepared to set off from the resort of Punta Cana.
Police searched their Falcon jet and found 26 suitcases carrying the 680 kilos of cocaine, with a street value of around £35million.
Fauret and Odos pleaded their innocence, saying the drugs must have been planted without them knowing.
Both men were placed under judicial supervision, meaning they could not leave the Caribbean island.
But their barrister, Jean Reinhart, confirmed the two men were at property near Lyon and ‘at the disposition of French justice’.
The men disguised themselves as tourists and booked onto a tourist cruise while waiting for their appeal to be heard.
In a saga straight out of a James Bond spy film, they were ‘assisted’ by an unnamed politician, and former naval intelligence officers, according to French media reports.
A French foreign ministry source meanwhile insisted that the escape from justice ‘had nothing to do with us’.
Four men from the Dominican Republic have been jailed for between five and 10 years for the same crime of trying to export cocaine with the Frenchmen.
The Paris home Mr Sarkozy shares with his wife was raided by anti-corruption police within days of him losing his presidential immunity against prosecution in 2012.
Since then Mr Sarkozy has faced numerous enquiries, but denies any wrongdoing. He believes he is still popular enough to be re-elected French president in 2017.