This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 14 °C Monday 24 June, 2019
Advertisement

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy in police custody over campaign financing

Sarkozy is being questioned over suspected Libyan financing of his election campaign in 2007.

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy
Image: Jean Catuffe via Getty Images

FORMER FRENCH PRESIDENT Nicolas Sarkozy has been taken into police custody for questioning over suspected Libyan financing of his 2007 election campaign, a source close to the inquiry told AFP.

Sarkozy, aged 63, had until now refused to respond to a summons for questioning in the case, which drew heightened scrutiny last November when a businessman admitted delivering three cash-stuffed suitcases from the Libyan leader as contributions towards the French leader’s first presidential bid.

Sarkozy’s detention was first reported by the Mediapart investigative news site and French daily Le Monde and comes several weeks after a former associate, Alexandre Djouhri, was arrested in London and later released on bail.

Djouhri was returned to pre-trial detention in February after France issued a second warrant for his arrest, ahead of a hearing scheduled for 28 March.

A source close to the inquiry also said that Brice Hortefeux, a top government minister during Sarkozy’s presidency, was also questioned today as part of the inquiry.

Before his arrest in January, Djouhri, a 59-year-old Swiss resident, was well known among France’s right-wing political establishment and had refused to respond to the summons for questioning in Paris.

He has been a focus of the inquiry opened in 2013 by judges investigating earlier claims by late Libyan ruler Moamer Kadhafi and his son Seif al-Islam that they provided funds for Sarkozy’s election effort.

Sarkozy has dismissed the allegations as the claims of vindictive Libyan regime members furious over his participation in the US-led military intervention that ended Kadhafi’s 41-year rule.

Franco-Lebanese businessman Ziad Takieddine said he had made three trips from Tripoli to Paris in late 2006 and early 2007 with cash for Sarkozy’s campaign.

Each time he carried a suitcase containing €1.5 million to €2.0 million in €200 and €500 notes, Takieddine claimed in a French media interview, saying he was given the money by Kadhafi’s military intelligence chief Abdallah Senussi.

- © AFP, 2018

Read: Nicolas Sarkozy to face trial over ‘fraudulent’ election financing

More: Nicolas Sarkozy knocked out of French presidential race

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (22)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel