Senior French ambassador: 'I was told about Libyan funding of Sarkozy campaign'

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François Gouyette, who is now ambassador to Tunisia but was France's man in Libya from 2008 to 2011, has revealed to judges that two different well-placed Libyans told him that there had “indeed” been funding by Muammar Gaddafi's regime of Nicolas Sarkozy's successful bid to become French president in 2007. The fluent Arabic speaker also told the investigating magistrates that the Libyan document published by Mediapart in April 2012 revealing the illicit funding looks genuine. His intervention follows a whole string of senior figures from Libya, both friends and foes of the late Gaddafi, who have confirmed that the financing of the Sarkozy election campaign took place. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

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France's former ambassador to Libya, François Gouyette, has told investigating magistrates that two well-placed sources in the regime informed him that Muammar Gaddafi's government funded Nicolas Sarkozy's successful campaign for the French presidency in 2007. Gouyette, who is now ambassador to neighbouring Tunisia but who was France's man in Tripoli from January 2008 to February 2011, was giving evidence to judges Emmanuelle Legrand and René Cros who are investigating the complaint by Nicolas Sarkozy over this website's publication in April 2012 of a document showing that the Libyan regime had funded his campaign. Sarkozy, who has denied the claims, has accused Mediapart of using a false document.