© Reuters
Nicolas Sarkozy was charged on Wednesday for corruption and abusing his position of power
Nicolas Sarkozy's hopes of taking a second shot at the presidency in 2017 were dealt a severe blow when he was charged on Wednesday corruption and abusing his position of power. But that affair is just one of a raft of police investigations swirling around the conservative politician.

Cash from Gaddafi?

Judges have, since April 2013, been examining allegations that former Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi's regime helped finance Mr Sarkozy's successful 2007 presidential campaign.

Mr Sarkozy says the claim is ridiculous and is suing Mediapart, the website which first reported the alleged up-to-€50 million payment, for defamation.

Judges authorised the unprecedented step of tapping the phone of the former president as part of the investigation. The taps formed the basis for the investigation which led to Wednesday's charges.

France's richest woman

Mr Sarkozy's UMP party allegedly accepted cash-stuffed envelopes from the L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt to finance his 2007 campaign. The ex-president was cleared last year of taking advantage of the elderly woman while she was too frail to understand what she was doing. But his campaign treasurer is one of 10 people awaiting trial in the case.

2012 election funding

A criminal investigation was opened last month after it emerged that more than €10 million spent on Mr Sarkozy's 2012 campaign - in which he was defeated by the Socialist Francois Hollande - had been fraudulently passed off as UMP party expenses.

Mr Sarkozy denies any knowledge of, or role in, the apparent fraud which meant his campaign spent nearly 50 per cent more than it was legally entitled to.

UMP leader Jean-Francois Cope was forced to resign last month over the issue because of his close links to the company, Bygmalion, which organised the events and has admitted falsifying bills.

Pakistani arms deal kickbacks

This is a long-running investigation in which two former aides of Mr Sarkozy have been charged by judges investigating alleged kickbacks on a Pakistani arms deal concluded when Sarkozy was budget minister.

A shell company was allegedly used to channel kickbacks to then-prime minister Edouard Balladur's unsuccessful 1995 presidential bid, which Mr Sarkozy helped run.

Magistrates are also probing whether a 2002 Karachi bombing that killed 11 French engineers was revenge for the cancellation of bribes secretly promised to Pakistani officials.

State payout to tycoon Tapie

A criminal investigation is ongoing into allegations that Mr Sarkozy, while president, rigged a settlement procedure which resulted in the disgraced tycoon Bernard Tapie receiving €400 million from the state in return for political support in 2007.

Five people, including Mr Tapie, have been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and IMF chief Christine Lagarde, who was finance minister at the time, and Claude Gueant, Mr Sarkozy's former right-hand man, have both been questioned in the case.

Opinion polls cronyism

A criminal investigation is ongoing into the management of contracts for opinion polling carried out during Mr Sarkozy's 2007-12 term as president.

The probe was triggered by anti-graft organisation Anticor, which says the contracts were handed to political cronies without any tender process, and that public funds were used to carry out party political electoral research.