PARIS: Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy goes on trial starting Monday (Tuesday in Manila) for trying to bribe a judge and of influence-peddling, one of several criminal investigations that threaten to cast an ignominious pall over his decades-long political career. Prosecutors allege Sarkozy offered to secure a plum job in Monaco for Judge Gilbert Azibert in return for confidential information about an inquiry into claims that Sarkozy had accepted illegal payments from L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt for his 2007 presidential campaign. Sarkozy, who led France from 2007 to 2012 and has remained influential among conservatives, has denied any wrongdoing in all the investigations against him and fought vigorously to have the cases dismissed.