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 middleman Alexandre Djouhri has been released on bail by a court in London pending proceedings to extradite him to France. Examining magistrates in Paris investigating claims that Libyan regime money was used to finance Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 election campaign want to question Djouhri over crucial documents found at his Swiss home. Mediapart understands these show that the middleman did indeed oversee the payment of half a million euros of Libyan origin to President Sarkozy's most trusted lieutenant, Claude Guéant. Karl Laske and Fabrice Arfi report.
French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has visited Benghazi to revive UN talks between rival groups controlling the west and east of Libya, when he was barred from visiting a migrant detention centre.
In the wake of footage of sub-Saharan migrants captured in Libya being sold as slaves, France has pledged to offer asylum to 25 Eritreans, Ethiopians and Sudanese, including 15 women and four children, who were taken to Niger under UN protection from detention in the North African country.
Behind the fate of thousands of migrants who have died while attempting to cross by sea to Europe lies the even greater tragedy of those who perish on the overland journey through Africa to reach the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, according to estimates of UN agency the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Those who survive the trying conditions of the clandestine routes north from sub-Saharan countries face further danger in Libya, where many are herded into detention centres amid appalling conditions, while others fall victim to kidnappers. Carine Fouteau reports.
Police officers from France's anti-corruption squad, the OCLCIFF, have produced a preliminary and damning report into the claims that the Libyan regime under Muammar Gaddafi funded the 2007 presidential election campaign of Nicolas Sarkozy. It raises questions about the role of Éric Woerth who at the time was treasurer of Sarkozy's campaign, later became a minister and is now president of the finance committee at the National Assembly. Meanwhile judges have ordered the seizure of properties belonging to Sarkozy's former chief-of-staff and right-hand man, Claude Guéant. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.
In 2015 the former chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court defended the interests of a billionaire businessman with links to the former Gaddafi regime and who was a supporter of potential war criminals in Libya. Luis Moreno Ocampo, who had left the ICC in The Hague just three years before, was paid a total of 750,000 dollars for his work, Mediapart and European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) can reveal in their 'The Secrets of the Court' investigation. Moreno Ocampo denies any wrongdoing and says he was simply advising the businessman, Hassan Tatanaki, to be cautious in his dealings with a faction involved in the Libyan civil war. Stéphanie Maupas and Hanneke Chin-A-Fo, from NRC Handelsblad in Holland, report.
A report published this week by UN bodies UNICEF and the International Organization for Migration highlights the shocking treatment meted out to child migrants along their journeys to Europe. The most at risk are those from sub-Saharan countries travelling north to the Mediterranean through Libya, where they are exposed to sexual exploitation and forced labour, and who are especially targeted, the study finds, because of racism. Carine Fouteau reports.
French NGO Doctors Without Borders has announced it is suspending its boat's operations to search and rescue migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea in hazardous conditions after what it said was 'threatening behaviour' by Libyan coatsguards.
President Macron pledges to open centres in Libya by end of summer to process asylum applications, despite doubts of some French officials.
Libya’s UN-backed prime minister Fayez al-Sarraj and the country's eastern commander General Khalifa Haftar agreed to a conditional ceasefire.
In an interview filmed by Mediapart the arms dealer and intermediary Ziad Takieddine has described how he brought three suitcases of cash from Libya to give to Nicolas Sarkozy and his top aide just before the former's successful presidential campaign in 2007. In a testimony that backs up claims that Sarkozy's campaign was part-funded by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime, the Franco-Lebanese businessman says: “I discovered things that should no longer stay hidden.” The revelations come as Nicolas Sarkozy makes an enforced exit from French politics after his humiliating defeat in last week's primary to choose the Right's 2017 presidential candidate. Fabrice Arfi, Karl Laske and Nicolas Vescovacci report.
Mediapart is publishing four documents which prove that from 2005 to 2009 Nicolas Sarkozy and his aides tried to extricate Libyan spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi from his legal problems in France where he had been convicted for his involvement in the bombing of a passenger plane over Africa. The same Senussi is suspected of having sent five million euros in Libyan cash to Sarkozy and his chief of staff Claude Guéant before the 2007 presidential election - as revealed by the man who says he physically carried the money, arms dealer Ziad Takieddine. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.
Ten years after the liberation of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor from Libya, mystery still surrounds how nearly 400 children in that country's second city Benghazi contracted the HIV virus. Now Mediapart can reveal astonishing claims that it was the Libyan authorities themselves who obtained “phials” of the virus to infect many children, to shift blame on to the West. The astounding claims are made in a diary kept by the late Libyan prime minister Shukri Ghanem, who was later found dead in Vienna after fleeing Libya in 2011. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.
Under President Nicolas Sarkozy France launched a military intervention that plunged Libya into chaos. Now under President François Hollande Paris is conducting two parallel and very different policies; one official, one secret. In Tripoli France supports the government that is recognised by the international community. But at the same time it is also discreetly providing military aid to the official Libyan government's main adversary, General Khalifa Haftar, whose power base is in the east of the country. René Backmann and Lénaïg Bredoux investigate.