Sarkozy ‘received’ 50 mln euros from Gadhafi

Sarkozy ‘received’ 50 mln euros from Gadhafi

Sarkozy ‘received’ 50 mln euros from Gadhafi

Former French President Sarkozy (L) greets ousted Libyan leader Gadhafi in Paris in this file photo. REUTERS photo

A Franco-Lebanese businessman implicated in some of France’s biggest arms scandals has claimed he has proof that former French president Nicolas Sarkozy received 50 million euros in funding from former Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi.

Businessman Ziad Takieddine told a French judge that Sarkozy received the money from the former dictator during his 2007 presidential campaign and after the election, according to a report in French daily Le Parisien. Similar claims, all denied by Sarkozy, have been made by Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, one of Gadhafi’s sons, as well as a French investigative website.

Election campaign ‘funded by Gadhafi’

Takieddine, who fixed legal and allegedly illegal dealings between France and the Middle East, alleged Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign was “abundantly” funded by Gadhafi from December 2006 and that the flow of money continued after he became president, daily Telegraph reported.

The businessman said he was willing to produce proof of his claims if a judicial investigation was launched into Libya’s financing of French politicians.

Former Interior Minister Claude Gueant and his son were also said to have been involved in the generous Gadhafi handouts, according to Takieddine, who is accused of receiving illegal kickbacks on French arms deals to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and was being questioned by a French judge on Dec. 19 about those deals when he made his claims regarding Sarkozy.

He told the judge that the bulk of the money was paid between December 2006 and January 2007 and he could supply the paperwork to back up his claims. “Yes, Libya financed Sarkozy,” he told Le Parisien. The allegations have been discounted as “outrageous” and “self-interested” by sources close to Sarkozy.