Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will face trial over charges he misused his influence to secure leaked details of an inquiry into alleged irregularities in his 2007 election campaign, a source close to the investigation said on Thursday.\r\nSarkozy\u2019s lawyers said he would appeal the decision to send him to court, initially reported by the daily Le Monde.\r\n\u201cNicolas Sarkozy will ... calmly wait for the result of the motion for a declaration of invalidity. He does not doubt that once again the truth will triumph,\u201d his lawyers said in a statement. His appeal will be heard on June 25, it said.\r\nThe case came about after investigators used phone-taps to examine separate allegations that late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi funded Sarkozy\u2019s campaign and began to suspect he had kept tabs on a separate case through a network of informants.\r\nThursday\u2019s development came just over a week after Sarkozy, 63, was told he was being formally treated as a suspect in the election campaign investigation.\r\n\u00a0\r\nSarkozy was president from 2007 to 2012 but was defeated by Socialist Francois Hollande when he ran for re-election. He has since faced a series of investigations into alleged corruption, fraud, favoritism and campaign-funding irregularities.\r\nUnder French law, a suspect is not formally charged with a crime unless he is sent to trial.\r\nSarkozy\u2019s lawyers had previously argued that magistrates investigating the alleged secret Libyan funding exceeded their powers and went on a \u201cfishing expedition\u201d by tapping his conversations with them between September 2013 and March 2014, breaching lawyer-client privilege.\r\n\u00a0\r\nBased on the intercepts, Sarkozy is accused of having discussed offering a promotion to a prosecutor in return for tip-offs on an investigation into accusations that his former party treasurer and others exploited the mental frailty of France\u2019s richest woman, Liliane Bettencourt, to extract political donations in cash.\r\nThe source close to the investigation said that along with Sarkozy, one of his lawyers, Thierry Herzog, and the prosecutor would also face trial on the same charges.\r\nInfluence-peddling can be punished in France by up to five years in prison and a fine of 500,000 euros ($682,000). Sarkozy lost presidential immunity from legal prosecution a month after he left office in June 2012.\r\nHe already faces trial on separate charges of illicit pending overruns during his failed re-election campaign in 2012.\r\nSarkozy\u2019s predecessor, Jacques Chirac, was convicted in 2011, after his retirement, of misusing public funds to keep political allies in phantom jobs. That made the now ailing Chirac the first French head of state convicted since Nazi collaborator Marshal Philippe Petain in 1945.\r\n\u00a0\r\nSarkozy has been dogged for years by political scandals, but none has led to a conviction.