Nicolas Sarkozy 'under investigation over corruption'

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is under formal investigation relating to allegations of corruption.

He is suspected of influence peddling, corruption and benefiting from "the breach of professional secrets," Reuters reports the prosecutor's office as saying.

Mr Sarkozy was earlier held for questions over suspicions he received leaked details of an inquiry into alleged irregularities in his 2007 election campaign

He and his lawyer appeared before a judge on Tuesday evening before being released in the early hours of the morning.

The investigation may be a major blow to his hopes of returning to front-line French politics following his defeat to Francois Hollande in the 2012 presidential election.

Read: Sarkozy detained: French Connection meets ‘The Wire’

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Nicolas Sarkozy: 'I have not betrayed my country'

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has denied any wrongdoing and says he has not "betrayed" his country after being put under formal investigation for corruption.