This content is not available in your region

Ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy charged with conspiracy in illegal campaign funding probe

Access to the comments Comments
French former president Nicolas Sarkozy attends a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris Monday Nov. 11, 2019.
French former president Nicolas Sarkozy attends a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris Monday Nov. 11, 2019.   -   Copyright  Ludovic Marin/Pool via AP
Text size Aa Aa

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy claimed on Friday his "innocence is again violated" after new charges were issued against him as part of an investigation into the alleged illegal campaign financing from Libya of his successful 2007 presidential bid.

Sarkozy was charged with conspiracy earlier this week, the National Financial Prosecutor's Office confirmed to AFP. The latest indictment adds to the charges of corruption, concealment of embezzled [Libyan] public funds, and illicit campaign financing issued against him in March 2018.

In a Facebook post published on Friday, Sarkozy said he "learnt of the latest indictment with great stupefaction."

"After four days of questioning, during which I answered all the questions which were put to me without difficulty, my innocence is again violated by a decision which is not based on any evidence of illicit financing," he wrote.

France opened an investigation in 2013 into the allegations that Sarkozy had received millions of euros from Libya's state coffers to fund his 2007 presidential campaign.

The investigation came a year after Sarkozy was ousted from the Elysée by Francois Hollande.

Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's late dictator, is alleged to have ordered the transfer of €50 million to Sarkozy following a meeting between the two men in October 2005.

Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, told Euronews in 2011 that Sarkozy had to "repay Libya the money he took for his election campaign".

Sarkozy claimed on Friday that during his latest interrogation he "produced essential elements to support the full demonstration of my innocence."

"Out of respect for the judicial institution and for the secrecy of the investigation, I, unfortunately, cannot produce, as I had intended, the 10 pages of the minutes of my hearing which would have made it possible to show the reality and the strength of the evidence thus provided," he added.