Nicolas Sarkozy

New twist in Sarkozy-Libyan funding case after arrest of key former aide

France — Investigation

In January 2020 Thierry Gaubert, a former close aide to Nicolas Sarkozy, was arrested and then placed under formal investigation for “criminal conspiracy” in relation to claims that the former president's 2007 election campaign was funded with Libyan money. Gaubert is now free on bail, but banned from meeting with either Sarkozy or the ex-head of state's long-standing friend and ally Brice Hortefeux. As Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report, this move marks a major turning point in the long-running judge-led investigation.

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.

Qatar 2022: Sarkozy aide memos point to Élysée deal

International — Investigation

Key documents seen by Mediapart shed new light on the award of the 2022 football World Cup to Qatar. The documents, written to then French president Nicolas Sarkozy by his sports advisor, relate to a lunch that took place at the Élysée Palace in 2010, just days before the crucial vote to decide the tournament’s host country. They reveal that the then boss of European football ruling body UEFA, Michel Platini, had been “reluctant” to back the Gulf state, but had been convinced to switch his vote to it by the end of the meeting with the French president and key figures from Qatar. Yann Philippin and Antton Rouget report.

Judge-led French probe starts into award of 2022 football World Cup to Qatar

France — Investigation

In June 2019 Michel Platini, the former head of European football's governing body UEFA, was interviewed by police as a witness over the circumstances of the award of the 2022 football World Cup to Qatar. Two former colleagues of Nicolas Sarkozy were also questioned about a lunch hosted for Qatar's crown prince by the French president in 2010, attended by Platini, just days before the controversial vote to give the tournament to the oil and gas-rich state. Now the French financial crimes prosecution unit has launched a judicial investigation into the affair over alleged “corruption”, Mediapart has learnt. Former French football star Platini has strongly denied any wrongdoing. Yann Philippin and Antton Rouget report.

Revealed: Sarkozy aide received Libyan funds in secret offshore account

International — Investigation

An investigation by Mediapart has confirmed that a longstanding close aide to former French president Nicolas Sarkozy received 440,000 euros in a secret offshore account paid from Libyan funds one year before the 2007 French presidential elections, casting further suspicion that Sarkozy’s successful bid was partly financed by the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The money was transferred by a shell company belonging to a French-Lebanese intermediary who is central to the funding allegations, through which transited several millions of euros from the Tripoli regime. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

Sarkozy set to stand trial over 2012 campaign after last appeal fails

France — Link

Verdict by the French Cour de Cassation means prosecutors will now decide whether ex-president faces court over massive campaign overspend.

Prosecutor recommends former French PM and minister stand trial for alleged corruption scam

France — Investigation

Senior public prosecutor François Molins has concluded that former French prime minister Édouard Balladur and the defence minister who served under him, François Léotard, should be sent for trial for siphoning payments from public weapons contracts with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to fund Balladur’s presidential election campaign. Molins’s formal recommendations follow a lengthy judicial investigation into what has become known in France as “the Karachi affair”, a complex and far-reaching alleged corruption scam which surfaced after the murders of 11 French naval engineers in the Pakistani port city in 2002.

Sarkozy-Libya affair: judges probe key middleman's network of influence

France — Investigation

French detectives and judges investigating the financial links between former President Nicolas Sarkozy's entourage and the Libyan regime of dictator Muammar Gaddafi are making progress in relation to a key figure in the affair. He is businessman Alexandre Djouhri, currently living in London, whom French judges are trying to extradite for questioning. His right-hand man, banker Wahib Nacer, was placed under formal investigation in the affair earlier this year. Fabrice Arfi reports on the latest judicial developments that are causing concern for the Sarkozy clan.

Sarkozy sparks ridicule after photo shows him towering over wife

France — Link

Paris Match cover shows ex-president head and shoulders above his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy despite fact she is almost 10cm taller than him.

Nicolas Sarkozy loses final bid to avoid corruption trial

France — Link

An appeal by former French president Nicolas Sarkozy against a decision to prosecute him on charges of corrupting a senior magistrate to obtain information in a legal case concerning him has been rejected, and he is now expected to stand trial within months. 

Former French president Sarkozy set for trial over 2012 campaign

France — Link

Sarkozy had appealed to Constitutional Council invoking 'double-jeopardy' because he had already been found guilty over election spending.

Patrick Balkany: trial of high-living mayor who thought he could do as he pleased

France

On Monday May 13th 2019 the mayor of a wealthy Paris suburb, Patrick Balkany, and his wife Isabelle Balkany went on trial in the French capital for offences including tax fraud and money laundering. They are accused of having hidden some 13 million euros from the tax authorities, and prosecutors say they are the true owners of luxury properties in France, the Caribbean and Morocco. Alongside them on trial is lawyer Arnaud Claude who, like the Balkanys, is a personal friend of former president Nicolas Sarkozy as well as having been his partner in a law firm. Mediapart's legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan sets the scene on a high-profile trial.

Macron security aide affair: Mediapart responds to its critics

France

Mediapart is not a back-room intelligence agency but a news-gathering organization. We do not spy on anyone nor do we install secret microphones, writes Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel. We are content with revealing information in the public interest while respecting press laws. That is true in the current affair involving President Emmanuel Macron's security aide Alexandre Benalla just as it was in the earlier Bettencourt, Sarkozy-Gaddafi and Cahuzac affairs, he says.

UK orders extradition of Frenchman sought over Sarkozy allegations

France — Link

Alexandre Djouhri is wanted by Paris over claims including corruption of a foreign public official and conspiracy to misappropriate public funds.

Gaddafi spy chief tells French judges he oversaw 7m-euro payment for Sarkozy election campaign

International — Investigation

As part of their investigation into the suspected funding by the Gaddafi regime in Libya of Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential election campaign, two French judges travelled to Tripoli earlier this month when they questioned, for the first time face-to-face, Gaddafi’s former spy chief, and brother-in-law, Mohamed Abdulla Senussi. Mediapart has gained access to extracts from the statements provided by Senussi, who detailed how he oversaw the payment of 7 million euros for Sarkozy’s campaign, as ordered by Gaddafi. He also confirmed that, as part of the deal, the former French president’s personal lawyer and friend Thierry Herzog was involved in moves to overturn an international arrest warrant issued against Senussi after his conviction in absentia by a Paris court for his part in the blowing up of a French airliner in 1989.