Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party
Former president Nicolas Sarkozy lost his immunity from prosecution in 2012. FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images

A French court ruled Thursday 7 May that secret wiretap recordings of conversations between former President Nicolas Sarkozy and his lawyer in connection with a probe into past campaign financing could be used as evidence in an ongoing corruption probe.

Sarkozy and lawyer Thierry Herzog had protested the phone taps, saying they breached lawyer-client privilege.

The Paris appeals court's ruling that investigating judges didn't break any laws when they tapped conversations comes at a bad time for the head of the opposition UMP, who is eyeing a 2017 presidential bid, because the decision allows investigations to resume.

Sarkozy is under preliminary charges for active corruption and influence-peddling based on information gleaned from the phone taps.

He is accused of discussing the idea of giving a magistrate a lucrative job in exchange for inside information on another corruption investigation related to his campaign financing.

The probe is among several legal cases he has faced since losing his presidential immunity after losing the presidency to Francois Hollande in 2012.

Thierry Herzog, Sarkozy's lawyer, said his client vehemently denied all accusations, which he claimed were politically motivated.