Ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy has said the French justice system is being used for “political ends” after he was placed under formal investigation for influence peddling.
In extracts released ahead of the broadcast of a TV interview, Mr Sarkozy denied committing any unlawful act.
He said the case against him was intended to harm his reputation.
It is alleged Mr Sarkozy sought insider information from a judge about an inquiry into illegal campaign funding.
Mr Sarkozy was detained on Tuesday for questioning – the first time a former French head of state has been held in police custody.
Mr Sarkozy has recorded an interview with TF1 for later on Wednesday evening.
In it he says that “part of the judiciary is being used for political ends”, adding that he “never did anything that was against the principles of the French Republic”.
Mr Sarkozy says he is “deeply shocked” by the investigation and accuses the Syndicat de la Magistrature trade union of seeking to destroy him.
“Everything is being done to give me a reputation that is not true,” he says.