On March 20, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was detained in France : he is suspected of receiving money from Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi to finance his election campaign in 2007. Investigation on this matter has been going on since 2013, but, apparently, now the police have reliable evidence.
About Sarkozy’s ties with Gaddafi became known in 2011, when the French president was one of the first to call on the Libyan rebels to fight against the government of Libya. After this, Gaddafi’s son accused the European official of having received money from them for a long time. Later, the journalists found a secret liaison between Paris and Tripoli, which, according to the source, passed money and influenced the policy of France.
What is Sarkozy accused of?
In 2012, the French edition of Mediapart received documents that referred to the financing by the actual head of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi election campaign, Nicolas Sarkozy. The President rejected these accusations and in 2012 he successfully completed his term.
In 2013, Libyan-French businessman Ziad Takieddine (Ziad Takieddine) said that he gave Sarkozy money from the authorities of Libya between 2006 and 2007, when the French politician was an election campaign. The businessman claimed that the European leader received money after the election.
In the same year, the police began an investigation of Sarkozy’s ties with Gaddafi, but because of a lack of evidence did not attract the ex-president. Four years later, in October 2017, the Le Parisien newspaper, referring to the sources, reported on the plans of the French prosecutor’s office to arrest Sarkozy. As Le Monde writes with reference to French and Libyan sources, since 2013 the police have collected enough evidence to bring charges against the ex-president.
The former leader of France was detained in the morning of March 20 at a hearing in the city of Nanterre. He faces charges of corruption, trade in influence, embezzlement of public funds and tax evasion. The police must file charges within 48 hours or release the policy.
Relationship between Sarkozy and Gaddafi
De-facto Muammar Gaddafi ruled Libya from 1969 to 2011. He actively financed revolutionary and terrorist organizations and opposed Western countries. In response to the support of the international terrorism and the terrorist attacks in Europe in 1986, the US conducted a bombardment of Libya. During the attack, more than 45 soldiers were killed and about 30 civilian African countries.
In 1999, the authorities of Libya arrested a Palestinian doctor and five nurses from Bulgaria, who arrived in the country as volunteers. They were accused of infecting “thousands” of HIV-infected children and sentenced to life imprisonment. In early 2007, this decision was suddenly changed to the death penalty.
In May of the same year, the newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy intervened. He and his team began active negotiations with Gaddafi to release the hostages. Two months later, the Libyan authorities agreed to extradite the prisoners to France.
Ziyad Takeddine, who, according to him, passed on Gaddafi money to the French president, could play an important role in the success of the operation to free the hostages. He was an old friend of the French Minister of the Interior, Brice Ortef, the right-hand man of Sarkozy.
In January 2018 in London, French businessman Alexander Djuri was detained – he was close to Sarkozy during his presidency and is believed to have participated in the corruption scheme. According to the investigation , in 2009, Djuri illegally formalized the sale of a villa in the south of France to a Libyan high-ranking official and adviser to Gaddafi Bashir Saleh.
In February 2011, a civil war broke out in Libya between Gaddafi’s forces and rebels of the Transitional National Council of Libya, supported by the United States, the League of Arab States and the European Union. Sarkozy actively advocated participation in hostilities against Libya: on March 10, France became the first country in the world to recognize a group of insurgents. Five days later, Gaddafi’s son Saif Al-Islam said that Libya financed Sarkozy’s election campaign and demanded a refund.
The first thing that we will demand of this clown – let him return the money to the Libyan people. We helped him to help the Libyan people, but he disappointed us. Then let him give our money! We have all the evidence – bank accounts, documents, bank transfers – and we will soon disclose all this.
After the statement of Al-Islam, French journalists began to look for and eventually found documents indicating the connection of the French politician with the Libyan dictator. One of the sources of journalists was the entry of the former secretary of the Supreme People’s Committee of Libya, Shukri Ganem. In them, he pointed out that Sarkozy received money from Gaddafi. In April 2012, Ghanem went to Vienna and died under mysterious circumstances – his body was found floating in the Danube. The autopsy did not reveal traces of violence or poisoning, the cause of death of the ex-official is unknown.
In October 2011, with the support of NATO forces, the soldiers of the Transitional National Council killed Gaddafi. In fact, the main witness in the case of corruption of the French president.