Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy is charged with conspiracy over claims he funded election campaign with cash from Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi
- The 65-year-old is said to have accepted at least £42m from late Libyan dictator
- It follows earlier charges against Sarkozy including ‘illicit financing’
- But he has reacted to the latest legal blow by stating that ‘injustice will not win’
Nicolas Sarkozy has been charged with conspiracy over claims he funded an election campaign with cash from Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi.
The former French President is said to have accepted at least £42million from the late Libyan dictator believed to have been laundered through bank accounts in Panama and Switzerland.
It follows earlier charges of ‘corruption’, ‘concealment of embezzled public funds’ and ‘illicit financing’ filed against him.
The 65-year-old conservative politician reacted to the latest legal blow against him, which came on Thursday, by saying: ‘The French should know that I am innocent of what I’m accused of’ and that ‘injustice will not win’.
Nicolas Sarkozy has been charged with conspiracy over claims he funded an election campaign with cash from Libya’s late Colonel Gaddafi (pictured together in 2007)
Earlier this week, Sarkozy’s wife, former supermodel Carla Bruni, 52, appeared on British TV to gush about her love for him.
But judges in Paris confirmed they had spent four days grilling Sarkozy before adding the charge of ‘criminal association’ on Monday.
Sarkozy now faces a criminal trial over the Gaddafi money, which is believed to have been laundered through bank accounts in Panama and Switzerland.
Within a few months of his election, Sarkozy invited Muammar Gaddafi to Paris for a state visit and praised him as a great friend and ‘Brother Leader’.
The case was triggered by Mediapart, the investigative news site, which in 2012 published a document signed by Libya’s intelligence chief which proved the equivalent of £42million was to be paid to Sarkozy.
Sarkozy has insisted that the contract is a fake, but it has now been ruled it can be used as evidence.
The former head of state’s former ministers Claude Gueant and Eric Woerth have also been charged in relation to the allegations.
Earlier this week Sarkozy’s wife, former supermodel Carla Bruni, 52, appeared on British TV to gush about her love for him (left). But judges in Paris confirmed they had spent four days grilling Sarkozy (right) before adding the charge of ‘criminal association’ on Monday
It was in 2011 that RAF and French Air Force jets led the mass bombing campaign that ended with Gaddafi being hacked to death by a mob.
There have been claims that Sarkozy wanted his old friend and ally dead because of his potential to produce incriminating evidence.
Sarkozy is already set to appear in the dock in Paris next month, when he will become France’s first ex-president to be tried for alleged crimes carried out in office.
He is said to have illegally tried to influence a judge, and has also been charged in a case relating to fake invoices devised to mask overspending on his failed 2012 re-election campaign.
Within a few days of Sarkozy losing his presidential immunity from prosecution in 2012, fraud squad detectives raided the Paris home he shares with Ms Bruni, his third wife.
Ms Bruni appeared on GMTV earlier this week to say that the secret to her happy marriage is ‘luck’, and praised Sarkozy for his romantic nature.
She said she had spent lockdown with her husband and Italian family in their Paris home, adding: ‘There were 14 of us. Everyone is Italian and he was reading the paper at times just to get away from us, from all the talk.”
Ms Bruni was promoting an album of love songs, and said the majority were about her husband.