PARIS (AP) — France's highest court has decided phone taps between Nicolas Sarkozy and his main lawyer are legal, a ruling that paves the way for an eventual corruption trial against the former French president.

Sarkozy is expected to seek the conservative nomination to run for president again next year, but Tuesday's decision opens the possibility of a trial that could hamper his bid.

The opposition leader is under preliminary charges of corruption and influence-peddling based on information gleaned from judicial phone taps in 2013-2014.

The Cour de cassation rejected arguments by Sarkozy's lawyers who had argued the wiretapping was carried out in breach of lawyer-client privilege.

It is one of several legal cases in which Sarkozy's name has appeared, but the most potentially damaging to his political future.