Keyword: Thierry Herzog

The Libyan who unearthed secret Gaddafi regime archives on airliner bombing

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Samir Shegwara, who has unearthed key documents relating to the bombing of a French airliner in 1989. © Mediapart Samir Shegwara, who has unearthed key documents relating to the bombing of a French airliner in 1989. © Mediapart

The recent revelations by Mediapart about the secret plot by Nicolas Sarkozy's followers to clear the name of a Libyan spy chief owe a great deal to one man: Samir Shegwara. It was this city councillor from Libya who sifted through the regime's old archives after the fall of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in the 2011 revolution. There he unearthed key documents about the bombing of the UTA DC 10 carried out by Libyans in 1989, and about the subsequent efforts by Sarkozy's team to help the man convicted over the terror attack - Gaddafi's brother-in-law and security chief Abdullah Senussi. Mediapart went to meet him. Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

Libyan funding: Sarkozy clan's secret plan to clear man behind airliner bombing

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Security chief Abdullah Senussi  in August 2011, just before the fall of the Libyan regime under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. © Reuters Security chief Abdullah Senussi in August 2011, just before the fall of the Libyan regime under Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. © Reuters

According to documents gathered by an elected official in Tripoli, in 2005 Nicolas Sarkozy's close friend and personal lawyer Thierry Herzog offered to get an arrest warrant and conviction against a senior Libyan official – who was blamed for a terrorist attack - quashed. The man in question, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's brother-in-law and security chief Abdullah Senussi, had been jailed for life in his absence for masterminding the 1989 bombing of a French UTA airline DC10 passenger plane over Niger, in which 170 people lost their lives. The documents, seen by Mediapart, also show that Herzog was taken to Tripoli to discuss the affair by Francis Szpiner, the lawyer for the victims of the attack, though the latter has denied making the trip. The revelations point to a potential quid pro quo to explain why the Libyan regime would have been willing to help fund Sarkozy's 2007 presidential campaign, claims over which the former president is being investigated. Karl Laske and Fabrice Arfi report.

Sarkozy to go on trial for corruption and 'influence peddling'

Case based on wiretapped phone-calls in which Mr Sarkozy allegedly sought to influence judge and get leaks into progress of investigation.

The corruption pact behind the suitcases of Libyan cash sent to Paris

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Left to right: Nicolas Sarkozy, Ziad Takieddine, Claude Guéant, Abdullah al-Senussi and Sarkozy's lawyer Thierry Herzog. Left to right: Nicolas Sarkozy, Ziad Takieddine, Claude Guéant, Abdullah al-Senussi and Sarkozy's lawyer Thierry Herzog.

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.

Sarkozy one step closer to corruption trial as judges uphold phone tap evidence


Nicolas Sarkozy's hopes of returning to the Elysée suffered a potential blow on Tuesday when France's top court approved the use of telephone taps that led to the former president being formally investigated for “corruption” and “influence peddling”. The decision by the Cour de Cassation to reject Sarkozy's appeal means that he could soon face charges and be sent for trial over the allegations, which concern his alleged attempts to obtain confidential information about another legal affair that involved him. Though he has not formally announced his candidacy for the Right's autumn primary ahead of the 2017 presidential election, it is widely expected that Sarkozy will stand. But the electoral road is likely to be tougher for Sarkozy if he is facing a trial on corruption charges. Michel Deléan reports.

Judges to rule on legality of Sarkozy 'corruption' probe


Last week France's top appeal court heard an appeal by former president Nicolas Sarkozy against the validly of an official investigation into him for alleged “corruption” and “influence peddling”. He faces claims he tried to induce a senior magistrate to hand over confidential legal information. A great deal hinges on the judges' verdict, which is due on March 22nd, 2016. For as Mediapart's legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan reports, if the appeal fails it is likely Sarkozy, who hopes to be the French Right's candidate at the 2017 presidential election, will be forced to stand trial over the allegations.

Nicolas Sarkozy appeals against corruption investigation

Former French president tries to get probe quashed, claiming phone taps used to gain evidence were improper.

Nicolas Sarkozy in police custody over 'influence peddling' allegations


For the first time under France's Fifth Republic a former president has been held in custody for questioning. On Tuesday morning Nicolas Sarkozy was summoned to the offices of the fraud squad at Nanterre, west of Paris, where he was formally placed in police custody for questioning over claims that he benefited from what is known as 'influence peddling'. In particular the judges and police carrying out the investigation want to know if Sarkozy sought confidential information from a senior judge about the Bettencourt affair, in return for helping him get a top job in Monaco. The questioning of the former president, which comes a day after his lawyer, the judge at the centre of the 'influence peddling' claims and another judge were also held for questioning, is bound to place doubts over his expected return to French politics. If the investigating judges consider there is enough evidence, Sarkozy could be placed under formal investigation, one step short of formal charges.

Sarkozy's lawyer and top judge questioned over 'influence peddling' claims


Former president Nicolas Sarkozy's lawyer and close friend Thierry Herzog and senior judge Gilbert Azibert were questioned in police custody on Monday 30th June as part of an ongoing investigation into the alleged trading of confidential judicial information in return for political favours. In particular, Azibert is suspected of having passed on information about a part of the Bettencourt affair in the hope that he would be favoured in his application for a top judicial post in Monaco. A third man, an advocate general at France's top appeal court which was handling the Bettencourt affair, was also being questioned. As Mediapart's legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan reports, the questioning in custody of such senior figures will send shock waves through the judicial establishment. On the evening of Tuesday July 1st, Herzog and Azibert appeared before the judges carrying out the probe and were placed under formal investigation.

Sarkozy denounces "Stasi" phone-tapping

Angry former president likens eavesdropping to actions of former East German police and says Republic's principles have been 'trampled' on.

Exclusive: phone taps reveal Sarkozy plot against 'bastard' judges

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Nicolas Sarkozy et son avocat, Thierre Herzog.  © Reuters Nicolas Sarkozy et son avocat, Thierre Herzog. © Reuters

Mediapart can reveal the content of the controversial phone bugging carried out on former president Nicolas Sarkozy. Details of seven phone taps show that the ex-head of state set up what amounts to a dirty tricks operation to neutralise the judges who are investigating him. The extraordinary content of the calls confirm that Sarkozy's team used senior judge Gilbert Azibert to find out information about the Bettencourt affair. And that Sarkozy's lawyer Thierry Herzog was kept informed by a mole in the upper echelons of the state about the progress of the investigation over the Libyan funding of the former president's 2007 election campaign. As Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report, it is the start of a new state scandal involving Nicolas Sarkozy.

Sarkozy’s ‘alias’ considers suing for identity theft

The real Paul Bismuth ponders legal action over use of his name as an alias by former president Nicolas Sarkozy to avoid phone taps.

Hollande government says knew of Sarkozy phone-tapping

PM Jean-Marc Ayrault says he and justice minister Christiane Taubira knew of phone-tapping on February 26, contrary to what she had said before.

France court rules against Sarkozy over diary seizures

Judges say investigators can keep his diaries - initially confiscated during an inquiry into alleged election illegal funding - to help in other probes.

Sarkozy and top French magistrate in conspiracy scandal sparked by phone taps


A judicial investigation has been opened into evidence obtained via police phone taps that Nicolas Sarkozy and his lawyer Thierry Herzog received highly confidential information from a senior French magistrate about two legal cases involving the former French president. In exchange for the illicitly-gained information, Sarkozy was allegedly asked to use his influence to obtain the appointment of the the magistrate, Gilbert Azibert, to a lucrative retirement post on Monaco’s state council. Michel Deléan reports on the latest developments in an affair that has rocked France’s political and judicial establishment and which may announce the end of Sarkozy’s planned return to politics.