Ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy is under formal investigation for influence peddling.
He was questioned for 15 hours by anti-corruption police Tuesday and later appeared before a judge in Paris.
Sarkozy’s lawyer, Thierry Herzog, and a senior prosecuting magistrate, Gilbert Azibert, were also placed under formal investigation in the case.
Another magistrate, Patrick Sassoust, was called in for questioning.
A formal investigation in France leads to questioning by a judge who then determines if there is enough eveidence for the suspect to face charges, the BBC said.
Influence-peddling can be punished by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of €150,000 ($205,000).
Sarkozy and Herzog have denied any wrongdoing.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.