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Sarkozy's Gaddafi campaign scandal: Police search office of French ex-Interior Minister

Published time: February 28, 2013 20:46
Edited time: March 01, 2013 03:07
Nicolas Sarkozy greets Muammar Gaddafi in the courtyard of the Elysee Palace in Paris as he arrives for a five day official visit December 10, 2007. (Reuters/Jacky Naegelen)

Nicolas Sarkozy greets Muammar Gaddafi in the courtyard of the Elysee Palace in Paris as he arrives for a five day official visit December 10, 2007. (Reuters/Jacky Naegelen)

French police searched the office of former Interior Minister Claude Gueant on Wednesday, as part of the investigation into whether former President Nicolas Sarkozy accepted a campaign contribution from deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

French police searched the office of former Interior Minister Claude Gueant on Wednesday, as part of the investigation into whether former President Nicolas Sarkozy accepted a campaign contribution from Muammar Gaddafi, French Le Monde reported.

It comes after Mediapart news agency last year accused Sarkozy of accepting 50 million euros from the former Libyan leader, to fund his 2007 campaign. The agency published a statement signed by former Libyan Foreign secretary Moussa Koussa, which allegedly proved the allegations were true. 

Sarkozy accused the organization of slander, calling the claims “grotesque.” He filed a libel claim with police shortly thereafter.

But it’s not only French media which claims Sarkozy had generous backing from the late Libyan leader.

Last month, French-Lebanese businessman Ziad Takieddine claimed he had proof of the funding. He told a French judge that Sarkozy received the money from 2006, stating that Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign was “abundantly” funded by Gaddafi. He said the flow of money continued after he became president.

Takieddine, who is a fixer for legal and allegedly illegal dealings between France and the Middle East, said he was willing to provide proof of his claims during an investigation. 

Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam has made similar claims. “Sarkozy must give back the money he took from Libya to finance his electoral campaign. We funded it and we have all the details and are ready to reveal everything,” he told Euronews in 2011.

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