Sarkozy says accusations of illicit Libyan funding ‘web of lies’

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy told magistrates that accusations of illicit Libyan funding for his 2007 election campaign were a web of lies that had made his life “hell,” according to Le Figaro newspaper. The 63-year old, who held power from 2007 to 2012, was told by investigators that he was formally suspected of passive corruption. “I’ve paid a heavy price for this affair. Put it this way: I lost the presidential election of 2012 by 1.5 percentage points. The controversy initiated by [Muammar] Gaddafi and his henchmen cost me that 1.5 percent,” Reuters quoted Sarkozy as saying. He also denounced what he described as ‘lies’ from one of his main accusers, a Franco-Lebanese businessman who has described himself as a “middleman in the shadows” for liaising between Paris and Libyan secret service chiefs.