Paris: Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was charged with influence peddling and corruption after being questioned by judiciary police for 15 hours. Sarkozy, 59, is the first former French president who has had to declare as a detainee in a criminal investigation, in which if convicted he faces up to 10 years in jail.

After the accusation, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said “no one is above the law”, adding that Sarkozy should be treated as innocent until proven otherwise. The premier also said the justice system is looking at the case independently, without any interference from his government.

Also facing the same charges are Sarkozy’s lawyer Thierry Herzog, as well as high-ranking judge Gilbert Azibert.

Sarkozy has been accused of illegal dealings linked to the financing of his 2007 and 2012 election campaigns.