Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 06/24 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 06/24 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 06/24 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 06/24 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 06/24 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 06/24 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 06/24 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 06/24 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 06/24 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 06/24 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 06/24 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 06/22 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 06/24 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 06/22 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 06/24 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 06/24 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 06/24 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 06/22 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 06/24 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 06/24 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 06/24 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
France

The website behind Sarkozy corruption case

media Nicolas Sarkozy and Moamer Kadhafi in Tripoli in 2007 REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

The biggest political corruption scandal to hit France in decades took a dramatic turn on Tuesday as former president Nicolas Sarkozy was taken into custody over allegations he took cash from the late Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi. From the outset it has been a media outlet, not the police, which has set the pace in the investigation.

Investigative website Mediapart has relentlessly published articles implicating Sarkozy and members of his inner circle.

Police are investigating Sarkozy's implication in the case, following claims he received millions of euros to fund his 2007 election campaign from the Libyan regime.

Former interior minister Brice Hortefeux was also questioned by police.

“Since 2011 we at Mediapart have obtained documentary evidence and spoken to people involved which confirm this illicit financing,” says Karl Laske, a Mediapart journalist who has been investigating the story for the past seven years.

“In 2013 police began an investigation using our evidence.”

Investigators have evidence of five million euros being brought to Sarkozy in suitcases, but they are also examining the claim that Kadhafi promised to give Sarkozy a total of 50 million euros for his campaign, far more than the 21-million-euro funding limit at the time.

“By 2011 Nicolas Sarkozy had already been accused by Moamer Kadhafi and his inner circle of having received financing for his campaign,” says Laske.

Sarkozy has consistently denied this. He is suing Mediapart, saying incriminating documents they published were falsified.

Handwritten note

The website stands by its claims.

“A handwritten note by the former Libyan prime minister Choukri Ghanem speaks about payments made by Libya to Sarkozy’s team,” Laske explains.

“In 2016 several people, including Abdullah Sanussi, the ex-spy chief, and the intermediary Zied Takkiedine, told us they handed over the sum of five million euros to Sarkozy’s team.”

This is just one of dozens of questions that the former president will be expected to answer.

Unanswered questions

“Firstly Nicolas Sarkozy has never answered any questions on this case, not even to the press," Laske recalls. "We have compiled a list of 60 questions which remain unanswered.

“These questions are linked to his meetings with Moamer Kadhafi and in particular his requests for help with developing a civil nuclear programme, arms purchases and the pardon of Abullah Sanussi who was convicted of terrorism in Paris.”

This is not the only legal fight Sarkozy has on his hands.

Investigators have already said he should face trial for his failed 2012 reelection campaign - in the so-called Bygmalion affair.

And he is also being investigated for corruption and influence-peddling in a third case.

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.