illegal funding

Sarkozy-Gaddafi funding affair: the prosecutors' case for sending Sarkozy for trial

Justice — Investigation

French prosecutors earlier this month recommended that former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, along with three of his former ministers and nine other individuals, stand trial for the alleged illegal funding of his 2007 election campaign by the regime of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Mediapart obtained access to the 425-page document in which the prosecutors detail the evidence and their conclusions. The Libyan financing arrangements could not have been carried out, they write, “without the consent and the perfect knowledge” of Sarkozy, for whom “the hoped-for advantage consisted of obtaining secret financial support for the 2007 electoral campaign”. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

Charges and trial loom as Gaddafi-Sarkozy funding investigations draw to a close


Active investigations in a mammoth and unprecedented nine-year judicial probe into the suspected illegal funding of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign by the regime of late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi drew to a close this month, leading to a second legal phase before charges are brought and a trial ordered. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske detail the principal conclusions of the investigations and the roles of the key suspects in this extraordinary and complex case.  

Fugitive suspect in Sarkozy-Gaddafi funding probe jailed in France

France — Investigation

One of the key suspects in the marathon judicial probe into alleged funding of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign by the regime of late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was this weekend placed in preventive detention in France after losing a two-year legal battle to avoid his extradition from Britain. French judges have formally placed Alexandre Djouhri under investigation for nine alleged offences, including “active corruption”, aiding and abetting, and receiving, the proceeds of the “misappropriation of public funds”, “money laundering the proceeds of corruption”, “forgery and the use of forgeries” and “tax fraud”. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

Gaddafi interpreter details Sarkozy's meetings with Libyan dictator

International — Interview

In a lengthy interview with Mediapart earlier this month in Tunisia, where he now lives in exile, Moftah Missouri, who served for 15 years as the personal advisor and interpreter of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, details his first-hand knowledge of Nicolas Sarkozy’s confidential dealings with the Gaddafi regime, before and after he became president. Sarkozy was last month placed under formal investigation in a French judicial probe into Gaddafi’s suspected secret funding of his 2007 election campaign, and Missouri, who told Mediapart the Libyan leader confirmed to him in person the illicit financing, says he is willing to testify before the French magistrates.     

Exclusive: what Sarkozy told police under questioning about Gaddafi funding evidence

France — Investigation

Mediapart has obtained access to extracts of the transcripts of the questioning last week of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy by officers of France’s anti-corruption police agency, OCLCIFF, and also by the magistrates in charge of their investigation into the suspected financing of his 2007 presidential election campaign by the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. They reveal how Sarkozy, who after more than 30 hours of questioning was placed under investigation on March 21st for “illicit funding of an electoral campaign”, “receiving and embezzling public funds” from Libya, and “passive corruption”, was unable to provide convincing answers on a number of key questions, and how also he appeared to place responsibility for some of the most compromising evidence of collusion with Gaddafi’s regime on his close staff, including lifelong allies and friends Claude Guéant and Brice Hortefeux. Fabrice Arfi and Karle Laske report.

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


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.

The mystery of what really fuelled the French-led intervention in Libya

International — Analysis

A report published this week by the UK parliament’s foreign affairs committee made public its highly critical conclusions after a one-year inquiry into Britain's involvement in the 2011 military intervention in Libya which led to the overthrow of the regime of Muammar Gaddafi. The committee described the operation, which was led by France, as ill-prepared, ill-informed and without a cohesive strategy. No parliamentary inquiry into the military campaign has ever been held in France, and what exactly fuelled then-president Nicolas Sarkozy’s eagerness to remove Gaddafi remains uncertain, although a number of clues point to a motive ignored by the UK committee of MPs. Fabrice Arfi reports.

Sarkozy loses legal case against Mediapart over Libyan funding scandal document


Two French judges have found there are no grounds for challenging the authenticity of an official Libyan document revealed by Mediapart in 2012 and which declares that the Gaddafi regime had agreed to fund Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential election campaign to the sum of 50 million euros. The magistrates, in charge of an investigation prompted by a lawsuit launched by Sarkozy against Mediapart for “forgery” and “use of forgery”, have thrown out the case after years of thorough expert appraisals of the document and witness statements. Mediapart’s editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel details the judgment and the background to the case.

Graphologists confirm Gaddafi-Sarkozy illegal funding document is genuine

International — Investigation

Graphology experts assigned by a French judicial investigation to determine the authenticity of the signature on a document published by Mediapart detailing the Gaddafi regime’s approval of payment of 50 million euros to back Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 presidential election campaign have unanimously concluded that it is indeed that of Moussa Koussa, head of the Libyan foreign intelligence services and later the dictator’s foreign affairs minister. The finding is a crucial new development in the investigation which has now gathered testimony from numerous experts backing the authenticity of the document. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

Gaddafi funding of Sarkozy campaign: the expert testimony that backs Mediapart evidence

International — Investigation

In April 2012, Mediapart published an official Libyan document that revealed that the regime of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi approved payment of 50 million euros to fund Nicolas Sarkozy's successful 2007 presidential election campaign. The publication of the document prompted the opening of a judicial investigation into the claims that Gaddafi illegally financed Sarkozy’s campaign, and the ongoing probe represents a major threat to the former president who this month announced his return to active politics. “About Libya, the judges know that the documents are false,” said Sarkozy in an interview published last weekend. But in fact, as Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report, the magistrates leading the investigation have collected statements from numerous experts whose testimony gives credence to the document published by Mediapart.

Another Gaddafi aide details Libyan funding of Sarkozy

International — Investigation

Mohammed Ismail (pictured), a former aide to Saïf al-Islam, the son of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, has confirmed claims that Gaddafi funded the 2007 election campaign of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Mediapart can reveal. “Part of the funds went through North Africa Commercial Bank in Beirut, and from there to a bank account in Germany affiliated with Ziad,” Ismail told Mediapart, referring to Ziad Takieddine, a Paris-based businessman and arms dealer who worked as a key advisor to Sarkozy’s aides in their dealings with the former Libyan regime. “Other parts were funnelled through bank accounts in Panama and Switzerland,” he added. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

Gaddafi 'told senior aide he gave Sarkozy $20 million' for election campaign

International — Investigation

A senior aide to the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has revealed that Gaddafi personally told him that his regime illegally funded Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign to the tune of 20 million dollars. Moftah Missouri, who was Colonel Gaddafi’s personal interpreter, who was given the rank of ambassador and who also served as a minister in the regime, made the disclosure in an interview with French state television channel France 2, to be broadcast Thursday evening. During the interview, also confirms the veracity of a document published by Mediapart in April 2012 in which Gaddafi's funding of Sarkozy’s campaign is detailed. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.  

Former Libyan PM confirms Gaddafi gave Sarkozy 50M euros for election campaign

International — Investigation

Former Libyan Prime Minister al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi has confirmed that the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi secretly provided 50 million euros for Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign. “We took part in Mr Sarkozy’s success and in the financing of his 2007 presidential campaign,” Mahmoudi said in an interview with Mediapart, conducted through his lawyer. "The figure of 50 million euros is correct.” Mahmoudi’s confirmation follows the publication by Mediapart of a December 2006 document, signed by the then head of Libya's foreign intelligence agency, Moussa Koussa, detailing how the Gaddafi regime agreed to “support the electoral campaign” of Sarkozy for the “sum of fifty million euros”, while the secret payments were to pass via the Libyan African Portfolio, a sovereign wealth investment fund. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.  

French government stalls Interpol call for arrest of Gaddafi funding chief


French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Prime Minister François Fillon were under increasing pressure Tuesday to explain the extraordinary protection they have afforded to a former senior Libyan official, Bashir Saleh, identified in a document published by Mediapart as a principal figure involved in the secret funding of Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign by the late dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Saleh is the subject of an Interpol request for his arrest for extradition to Libya where he is wanted on fraud charges. Despite the Interpol ‘red notice', Saleh continues to live comfortably in France where he was issued with a residency permit after fleeing Libya following the toppling of the Gaddafi regime. Sarkozy claims there is confusion over the identity of the fugitive, while Fillon said he was unaware of the Interpol notice, which is posted to the general public on its website. Louise Fessard and Carine Fouteau report.

Sarkozy to sue over Gaddafi funding claims

France — Link

The BBC reports on Nicolas Sarkozy's announcement he will sue Mediapart for suggesting Muammar Gaddafi planned funding his 2007 election campaign.