Sarkozy is accused of accepting Libyan funds

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The Independent Online

The Elysée Palace yesterday dismissed a claim by Muammar Gaddafi's son that Libya helped to finance President Nicolas Sarkozy's election campaign in 2007.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi told Lyon-based EuroNews television: "Sarkozy must give back the money that he received from Libya for his election campaign. We financed that campaign and we have the proof. We are ready to reveal everything."

It would be illegal for a French politician to accept funding from a foreign government and illegal also to accept any kind of undeclared campaign finance. French government officials described the claim as "absurd".

France and Britain have led the way in pushing for military action to restrain the Libyan regime's counter-offensive against rebels in the west of the country. President Sarkozy yesterday wrote to other members of the UN Security Council urging them to approve a "no-fly zone".

The Libyan leader said last week that Mr Sarkozy was "mad" and that he would soon reveal a "grave" secret about him. His son added that his father felt "betrayed" by Sarkozy, who had given him full state honours during a visit to Paris in 2008.

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