Provence & Côte d'Azur: Is there a link between Sarkozy's 1990s dealings and the 2002 bomb blast in Karachi?
Karachi gate closes in on Sarkozy
No longer under the protection of presidential immunity, Sarkozy has become the target of a long awaited legal case that could compromise not only his reputation but also his freedom.
Two different families affected by the 2002 bus blast in Karachi have begun the early stages of a legal complaint against Sarkozy. They blame him and his involvement in the arms and commissions scandal for the deaths of their family members and have reportedly vowed to take action.
During the 1995 French presidential election race, 57-year-old Sarkozy worked as a campaign manager for candidate Edouard Balladur. Rumoured 1990s arms sales to Pakistan and "generous commissions" paid to Pakistani middlemen were reportedly kicked back to fund Balladur's election campaign.
Balladur, however, lost out to Jacques Chirac and the president later froze the deals and banned commission payments to the Middle Eastern nation.
This was said to have riled extremists and high level businessmen alike in Pakistan and in 2002, a suicide bomber detonated a device on a bus in Karachi, killing 11 French engineers, a fellow Pakistani man and himself. It was dubbed a "retaliation attack" and rocked relationships between France and previous business partners in the Middle East.
While there is no concrete link between the separate incidents, the murders lead to the birth of "Karachi Gate" which has become a black cloud for Sarkozy and has followed him throughout the last ten years.
Sarkozy could reportedly face up to five years in prison if he is found guilty in the complicated case, however critics have pointed out the case of his predecessor Chirac who received a two year suspended sentence for "diverting public funds and abusing public trust".
As a quick politician and shrewd lawyer, Sarkozy will be preparing to confront the allegations in the coming weeks.