Nicolas Sarkozy

Bettencourt affair: Sarkozy 'secret cash' case dropped

France — Link

Former president will not stand trial on allegations - which he denied - that he abused frailty of L'Oréal heiress to get election campaign funds.

Nicolas Sarkozy's 'shocking comments' lost him election, says ex-wife

France — Link

Nicolas Sarkozy displayed a “worrying impulsiveness” according to his ex-wife in extracts of a “tell-all” autobiography.

France's Sarkozy appeals against vote funding investigation

France — Link

Former president appeals to Court of Cassation over investigation into allegations that he took advantage of mental frailty of L'Oréal heiress.

Sarkozy loses appeal in Bettencourt case, now faces possible trial for 'abuse' of L'Oréal heiress

France

In a much-awaited decision, the Bordeaux court of appeal has ruled that former French president Nicolas Sarkozy should remain under investigation for exploiting L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt’s dementia to obtain funds for his 2007 election campaign. The court threw out Sarkozy’s appeal along with several others lodged by fellow suspects cited in the case, and which included a demand that the investigating magistrates should be removed from the case for reason of their alleged impartiality. The ruling announced on Tuesday means Sarkozy could now face trial on the charge of ‘abuse of weakness’, about which a decision is expected within weeks. Michel Deléan reports. 

"Sarkothon" raises 11 mln euros and refills UMP coffers

France — Link

Main opposition party says it raised money in just two months after election auditors ruled former president's 2012 campaign had overspent.

Ex-French ambassador under investigation after found with thousands in cash

France — Link

Diplomat-turned-businessman Boris Boillon, who close to Nicolas Sarkozy, was reportedly stopped at Paris train station with 350,000 euros on him.

The tentacular Bettencourt affair, from high-society feud to affair of state

France

The Bettencourt affair has reached an unprecedented scope among the many scandals that have rocked France in recent decades. As a judicial ruling ordering the censorship of Mediapart’s reporting of the scandal kicks in this Monday evening, Michel Deléan dresses a summary of the  judicial investigations into the affair which, over the past three years, have exposed a bed of political corruption and influence peddling, a record back payment in taxes on assets secretly stashed abroad, not to mention the outrageous antics of a high-society cabal and the sordid exploitation of one of Europe’s wealthiest individuals.

Right-wing UMP forced to launch cash appeal after Sarkozy's election accounts are thrown out

France

After his accounts were rejected by France's top constitutional court, the former president resigned from that body, to enable him to 'speak freely' on the issue. He and his supporters claim the ruling - the first of its kind -  is 'unfair'. Meanwhile, as Mathilde Mathieu reports, the main opposition party the UMP now has to find 11 million euros to avoid potential financial ruin.

Prosecutors say Sarkozy has no case to answer over claims he exploited L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt

France

As widely expected, the prosecutor in Bordeaux says that 'in the absence of evidence' there should be no further action taken against the former president over claims that he took advantage of the billionaire’s mental frailty to obtain funds for his 2007 election campaign. But, as Michel Deléan reports, the three examining magistrates in charge of this high-profile and controversial case could still decide to send Nicolas Sarkozy to stand trial.

Ziad Takieddine says he paid illegal kickbacks to fund former French PM Edouard Balladur’s failed presidential bid

France — Link

The Lebanese businessman says he handed over suitcases of cash in Geneva that came from arms deals with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

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 French spy chief to stand trial for snooping on journalists

France — Link

Bernard Bernard Squarcini, ex-head of the DCRI, is to face trial for seizing phone records of a journalist investigating Bettencourt affair.

'I need you as a guide': IMF chief Lagarde's bizarre 'letter' to Sarkozy

International — Link

French press leaks an obsequious letter allegedly written by IMF chief Christine Lagarde in which she begs the former French president to 'use' her.

Bettencourt magistrate victim of 'judge hunt' for 'daring' to put Sarkozy under investigation

France — Analysis

Judge Jean-Michel Gentil has been accused of a 'major conflict of interest' and lack of impartiality after it emerged that one of the medical experts he used in the Bettencourt investigation is a friend of his. The disclosure, which has been given massive media coverage, follows the anonymous death threats and vitriolic attacks from right-wing politicians that greeted his decision to put former president Nicolas Sarkozy under formal investigation for allegedly exploiting the mental frailty of billionaire Liliane Bettencourt. But, as Mediapart's legal affairs expert Michel Deléan explains, this is simply the latest in a catalogue of attacks on judges who dare to turn the spotlight on powerful political and business interests.