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Ex-French President Sarkozy Accused of Taking Millions From Gadhafi

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is being stung by allegations that his 2007 presidential campaign was funded by an enormous 50 million Euro cash infusion from one of the world’s most controversial leaders, the late Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi.

While Sarkozy has vehemently denounced the reports, there appears to be growing evidence that there may be truth to the claims, which first surfaced in 2011. At the time, Sarkozy called the allegations “grotesque” when reported by the investigative website Mediapart. But now the allegations have resurfaced during the court case of Ziad Takieddine, the Franco-Lebanese businessman/fixer under investigation for allegedly organizing and receiving kickbacks on arms deals over two decades.

While Takieddine admitted that he was presenting the allegations as a negotiating tool with the French judicial system, he said he had proof. Gadhafi’s son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, made similar allegations against Sarkozy to Euronews TV in 2011. Gadhafi allegedly continued to send money to Sarkozy even after he was elected.

“He’s disappointed us,” Saif al-Islam said of Sarkozy, who was trying to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. “Give us back our money.” But Saif al-Islam’s charges were quickly dismissed by the French media and public.

Takieddine’s plea bargaining allegations were made just before Christmas and leaked to the media. He told the newspaper Le Parisien that he could prove the Gadhafi charges.

“Yes, Libya financed Sarkozy,” Takieddine told Le Parisien.

Though sources close to Sarkozy dismissed Takieddine’s claims as “outrageous” and “self-interested,” they are still immensely embarrassing to the former president. Sarkozy was one of the leaders of the international effort to take down Gadhafi, ulitmately leading to his death in October 2011. But Sarkozy in 2007 brought Gadhafi to France for a ritzy state visit, raising many eyebrows. Reports say France had many business ties with Libya, including a deal to supply surveillance equipment to Libyan intelligence services.

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