Nicolas Sarkozy

Sarkozy to answer vetted questions in TV interview

France— Link

President Nicolas Sarkozy to answer questions previously submitted for his approval in 75-minute TV interview Thursday.

Daily Mail: Sarkozy tirade against Cameron suggests he knows that he, and France, are in serious trouble

International— Link

Daily Mail columnist Simon Heffer says Sarkozy outburst at Cameron follows a mounting sense of failure and a diminishing reputation.

President Sarkozy 'bullied African leaders into deals with billionaire friend Bolloré'

International— Interview

The former head of an international maritime port management company has accused French President Nicolas Sarkozy of bullying African governments into entering into contracts with the Groupe Bolloré, headed by the president's close friend Vincent Bolloré. In an exclusive interview with Mediapart, Jacques Dupuydauby (photo), who recently retired as chairman of Franco-Spanish group Progosa, says French-speaking West African leaders personally told him how President Sarkozy threatened them with a withdrawal of French support unless they agreed to hand lucrative port management concessions to the Groupe Bolloré. He describes the French president as Bolloré's "high-class travelling salesman", adding: "Under Sarkozy, the message is ‘If you don't do what we ask in giving such and such a thing to Bolloré, you will no longer be able to count on France's support'"

The plan for Gaddafi to help France free Ingrid Betancourt

International— Investigation

Franco-Lebanese arms dealer Ziad Takieddine is a key figure in what has become known as the ‘Karachi affair', involving alleged secret political funding from commissions paid in French weapons sales abroad. A judge leading an independent probe into the suspected scam last month placed Takieddine and two of President Nicolas Sarkozy's close friends and aides under formal investigation in the case. In a series of investigations that began this summer, Mediapart has revealed Takieddine's unusual role as intermediary and advisor in a number of French weapons sales, and his close relationship with several of President Sarkozy's inner circle of friends and advisors. Documents obtained by Mediapart now disclose how the arms dealer was involved in arranging for the French presidency the services of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to free former hostage Ingrid Betancourt (photo) from her FARC captors in Colombia. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy gives birth to baby girl

France— Link

Carla Bruni, wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, gave birth to a girl at a Paris clinic late Wednesday.

Sarkozy's skyscraper vision clouded by debt crisis

France— Link

Paris's Praetorium, a tall office block opened in 2009, was the first step in President Sarkozy's revitalisation plan for La Défense. Today, it's still empty.

Europe crisis leaves French G-20 goals in tatters

International— Link

President Sarkozy promised an "ambitious and humble" year as leader of the G-20, and has a lot to be humble about, comments AP business writer.

Takieddine says Villepin in Sarkozy smear campaign

France— Link

Key suspect in French probe into illegal political funding via arms sales abroad accuses former PM Dominique de Villepin of smear campaign.

Sarkozy re-election snarled by probes, threatening euro role

France— Link

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's re-election threatened by corruption probes involving his associates, his popularity rating close to record low.

Captain Sarkozy hits the iceberg

France— Opinion

One after the other, President Nicolas Sarkozy's closest friends and aides, who for so long served as his political fireguards, have become implicated in a series of scandals and fast-developing judicial investigations. The alleged illegal political funding scam that has finally exploded with the revelations surrounding arms dealer Ziad Takieddine has already demolished the president's once solid network of protection. What has been happening this past month at the summit of French political power is historic, writes Mediapart editor François Bonnet, for never before has a French president been so exposed to being sunk by scandal and the revenge of abandoned protagonists.

Arms dealer suspect in political funding scam probe issues 'warning' to President Sarkozy

France— Report

Franco-Lebanese arms dealer Ziad Takieddine, at the centre of what has become known as the ‘Karachi affair', involving secret political funding from commissions paid in French weapons sales abroad, has given a detailed interview to French TV news channel BFMTV (photo), in which he appeared to address a warning to President Nicolas Sarkozy, now increasingly implicated in the case: "I want to see the president, he has an interest, I think, and France has an interest, that he receives me for at least 15 minutes."

Police question Sarkozy friend and advisor Brice Hortefeux

France— Link

French police quiz President Nicolas Sarkozy's adviser and friend Brice Hortefeux over his access to confidential evidence in 'Karachigate' case.

French judge finds key evidence in illegal funding probe

France— Investigation

A Paris magistrate investigating suspected illegal political party funding in France has obtained documents (photo), extracts of which are exclusively published here by Mediapart, which amount to the most significant evidence yet indicating that former Prime Minister Edouard Balladur's presidential election campaign may have been partly funded via French weapons sales abroad. While the events date from the 1990s, they lie at the heart of what has become known as the Karachi Affair, a fast-developing corruption scandal implicating current French President Nicolas Sarkozy and several of his senior political allies. Fabrice Arfi reports.

'Everyone's in the merde': the secret cash funding scandal shaking down the house Sarkozy built

France— Investigation

After a week of startling developments, the French presidency was this weekend engulfed by yet more revelations over the illegal political party funding scandal dubbed as Karachi-gate, involving secret cash payments siphoned off from French weapons sales abroad, notably to Pakistan, which implicates both the French president and his close political entourage. Two of Nicolas Sarkozy's longstanding political servitors, Nicolas Bazire and Thierry Gaubert (photo), are now under official investigation over their alleged role in the affair, which includes the transport to Paris of suitcases stuffed with cash from a Swiss bank vault. Meanwhile, presidential advisor Brice Hortefeux, one of Sarkozy's closest friends, has been caught by phone taps informing Gaubert, while he was in police custody, of damaging statements made by his estranged wife, Princess Hélène of Yugoslavia. In this report on the latest developments in the case, Mediapart exclusively reveals excerpts of what Gaubert told the police, along with the official transcript of a phone conversation in which his daughter speaks of Sarkozy, Hortefeux and other senior officials as being "in the shit". Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

The French-built stealth offroader that may be hiding Gaddafi

International— Investigation

Amid continuing speculation over the whereabouts of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Mediapart has obtained exclusive details of a highly sophisticated ‘stealth' four-wheel drive armoured vehicle sold by France to Libya in 2008 for the dictator's safe transport. The modified Mercedes can "instantaneously detect over 2,000 threats" according to French company Bull which developed the vehicle's security system (illustration) as part of a controversial weapons and security contract negotiated with Tripoli by President Nicolas Sarkozy's staff. The deal included equipment presented as "an inviolable solution to the Anglo-American espionage system". Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report on a deal that may still be ensuring mobile refuge for on-the-run Gaddafi.