Key Sarkozy allies admit their errors over secret meetings with Libyan terror chief

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Two of former president Nicolas Sarkozy's closest allies, Brice Hortefeux and Claude Guéant, have recently been placed under formal investigation for “criminal conspiracy” over claims that the ex-head of state's 2007 election was part-funded by the Libyan regime. Mediapart can now reveal that during questioning by judges both men admitted to lapses in judgement in meeting a spy chief from Muammar Gaddafi's regime who was wanted by the French justice system after being convicted of a terrorist attack. Yet they deny there was any deal for the Libyans to help fund the election campaign. Both men also loyally continue to protect their former boss, who himself faces claims of criminal conspiracy and corruption in the case. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

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Two of former president Nicolas Sarkozy's closest allies, Brice Hortefeux and Claude Guéant, were both placed under formal investigation for “criminal conspiracy” in December 2020 over claims that the ex-head of state's 2007 election was part-funded by the Libyan regime. Mediapart can now reveal details of what both men told the judges who are investigating the case. We can also reveal how those judges were able to highlight the many weaknesses in their accounts.