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16 Oct, 2020 11:28

France's ex-president Sarkozy under formal investigation over allegations of campaign cash from Libya

France's ex-president Sarkozy under formal investigation over allegations of campaign cash from Libya

Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president, is being formally investigated over claims he accepted ex Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's money to finance his 2007 election, the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office announced.

Two years after his triple indictment for corruption, embezzlement of Libyan public funds and illicit financing of the 2007 electoral campaign, it was announced on Friday that Sarkozy is being investigated for “criminal association.”

Sarkozy was informed on Monday by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) and, in a statement on Facebook, has denied any wrongdoing.

After four days of interrogation, during which I answered all the questions that were put to me without ever being put in trouble, my innocence is once again scorned by a decision that doesn't show any evidence of any illicit financing.

Following the three charges against Sarkozy in 2018, in January 2020, the PNF broadened its investigation into the Libyan financing scandal to include criminal association.

Allegations of corruption first came to light in 2011, when the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, claimed that his father had helped finance Nicolas Sarkozy’s successful election campaign in 2007. It was claimed that that the Libyan state had donated €50 million to Sarkozy in expectation that the favor would be returned.

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Following Sarkozy's successful election victory, Gaddafi visited France at the president’s invitation. The visit was the first time Gaddafi had visited France in more than 35 years and drew considerable condemnation from within his government and outside it. During the visit, France agreed to sell Libya 21 Airbus aircraft and signed a nuclear cooperation agreement.

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