Gaddafi, Tapie and Bettencourt: Nicholas Sarkozy's scandals are catching up as he talks about return to political stage
Fresh allegations emerge over former French President's link to the Libyan dictator amid further controversies
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s past is catching up with him in the week that he began to talk openly about his hopes for a political future.
Fresh allegations have emerged this week about the illicit funding of Mr Sarkozy’s political career by the late Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.
Separately, Mr Sarkozy and close allies face renewed suspicions about an allegedly over-generous €403 state compensation payment to the disgraced French tycoon Bernard Tapie in 2008.
In a development in a third alleged scandal, the ex-President’s lawyers will ask an appeal court in Bordeaux tomorrow to quash a formal accusation of that Mr Sarkozy took illicit campaign money from France’s wealthiest woman, Liliane Bettencourt when her mental faculties were waning in 2007. The court is expected to reject the request.
At an appearance at a financial conference in London this week, Mr Sarkozy said that he would consider ending his political retirement if he was “needed”. His hopes of running for president for a third time in 2017 depend, however, on the outcome of three separate criminal inquiries.
The newspaper Le Monde reported today that four former officials in the Gaddafi regime had offered to give evidence to French magistrates who are investigating alleged Libyan payments to Mr Sarkozy in 2006-7. According to Le Monde, their lawyer, Marcel Ceccaldi, has told investigators that €50m was handed to a Sarkozy emissary by the brother of a close aide of Gaddafi in 2006.
According to the newspaper, a CIA internal note in November 2011 reported a €5m payment by Libya to Mr Sarkozy’s former chief of staff and interior minister, Claude Guéant in 2007.
Separately, another team of investigating magistrates last week formally accused a senior French judge, Pierre Estoup, 86, of taking part in a “conspiracy with others” to defraud the French state by giving an over-generous compensation payment to Bernard Tapie in 2008. Mr Estoup was one of three judges who sat on an informal tribunal which offered €403m to Mr Tapie - a friend of Mr Sarkozy - for his alleged losses when a state-owned bank mis-sold his sports company, Adidas, in 1993.
According to leaks to the French media, the magistrates are investigating the possibility that the unnamed “others” in the alleged conspiracy included the then President of the Republic, Mr Sarkozy.
Look beyond the usual shows for the best festive telly
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
The battle for control of Stieg Larsson's £30m legacy
French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
David Cameron takes his biggest gamble yet as he gets tough on Europe over immigration
Two PAs cleared of fraud - and Nigella Lawson left reeling at 'ridiculous sideshow' of drug allegations and public dissection of her marriage to Charles Saatchi
Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
Paul Walker's daughter Meadow attends Justin Bieber Believe premiere
- 1 Tim Sherwood challenges Daniel Levy to set out vision for Tottenham Hotspur’s future
- 2 French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 #Teamnigella: It’s the only side to be on
- 5 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- < Previous
- Next >
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Teacher of English - S...
£59999 - £80001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A Top 10 firm in ...
£50000 - £75000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Project Manage...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Year 5 Teacher - Gilli...