Correspondent in Paris
Former President Nicolas Sarkozy was questioned on Tuesday by judges who are investigating the alleged illegal financing of his 2007 presidential campaign with funds from Muammar Gaddafi, “Brother”, “guide” and autocrat of the Libyan State, between 1969 and 2011.
Sarkozy was indicted in March 2018 for the alleged crimes of passive corruption, illicit electoral campaign financing and extortion of Libyan public funds. Sarkozy’s lawyers got temporarily halt instruction of the alleged crimes, presented successive suspensive appeals. Finally, the Court of Appeal of Paris considered that the investigating judges could continue their work, before a process and trial still distant. After the decision of the Court of Appeal, the investigation continues its course, with a new interrogation of the former president, the second, on Tuesday, October 6.
This is a possible scandal that broke out in 2013, when a son of Muammar Gaddafi declared that Sarkozy had benefited from generous donations from his father. Several French media published, at the time, several notes attributed to the Libyan secret services, according to which Gaddafi’s hand men had handed over Sarkozy’s hand men (two former interior ministers, several members of the presidential team, in the Elysee Palace), about 50 million euros, in banknotes. Claude Guéant, former interior minister, and Eric Woerth, former minister of state budgets, were indicted, at the time, for alleged crimes related to the alleged Libyan financing of Sarkozy’s victorious election campaign in 2007.
Since the outbreak of the scandal, Nicolas Sarkozy calls himself the victim of a plot, believing that “there is not the slightest foundation in the accusations”, presented by his lawyers as a string of “false documents.” Neither the indictment nor the questioning of Sarkozy in any way prejudge the evolution and final sentence of the case. Not much less. But they dye the personal political heritage of the last charismatic leader of the traditional French right jet black.