British divorcee becomes key witness in French political funding scandal

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A British woman has become the key witness in the ongoing judicial investigation into suspected illegal political funding in France from weapons sales abroad, and which is now engulfing the French presidency in a scandal that threatens Nicolas Sarkozy's future. Mediapart can reveal here exclusive extracts from testimony given to police by Nicola Johnson, who was divorced earlier this month from Paris-based arms dealer Ziad Takieddine, currently under investigation for his role as a principle intermediary in the suspected scam. Her statement details how:

  • her former husband established extraordinary close relationships with senior French politicians, including the funding of lavish holidays for ministers.
  • Takieddine, who Mediapart has already revealed pays no tax on his 40 million-euro wealth in France where he is fiscally domiciled, apparently escaped a tax control last year after the intervention of a "higher authority".

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