Nicolas Sarkozy placed under investigation for corruption, embezzling public funds and illegal political funding

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Nicolas Sarkozy was placed under formal investigation by magistrates on Wednesday for “illicit funding of an electoral campaign”, “receiving and embezzling public funds” and “passive corruption” at the end of almost 48 hours of questioning by French police investigating evidence that the former French president’s 2007 presidential election campaign was partly funded by the regime of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. It is unprecedented in France for a former president to face prosecution for having been sponsored by a foreign power. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report on the latest events and the background to the case, which followed Mediapart's first revelations in 2011.

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Following two days of questioning by officers from France’s anti-corruption and financial crime police agency, OCLCIFF, former conservative president Nicolas Sarkozy was on Wednesday placed under formal investigation for “illicit funding of an electoral campaign”, “receiving and embezzling public funds” and “passive corruption” in relation to evidence suggesting his 2007 election campaign was partly funded by the regime of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.