Lebanese-born businessman Ziad Takieddine told a French judge that he could provide written proof that former French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2006 campaign was “abundantly financed” by the late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
Takieddine, a veteran businessman in France and former friend of Sarkozy, claims that Gadhafi gave Sarkozy over 50 million euros. French law prohibits candidates from accepting cash payments larger than £6,300, or about 7,766 euros.
Takieddine, who is himself is under investigation for receiving illegal funds on French firearms deals to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, admitted today that his charges against Sarkozy were part of a quid-pro-quo with the French court system.
Sarkozy and his spokespeople dismiss the allegations as “outrageous” and “self-interested.” But Takieddine was prepared to show evidence if an investigation was launched into the financing of Sarkozy’s campaign.
“Yes, Libya financed Sarkozy,” Takieddine told the French daily newspaper Le Parisien. Takieddine also claimed that the payments to Sarkozy continued after he became president.
At a hearing in December, Takieddine claimed that a number of private meetings to decide on the transfer of payments had taken place between Claude Gueant, Sarkozy’s chief of staff, and Gadhafi’s private secretary, Bashir Saleh.
Supporters of Sarkozy were suspicious when the president offered Gadhafi a grandiose visit to France in December 2007.