Nicolas Sarkozy embarrassed: A saga of Gaddafi, €50m, phone-taps and the French M15

Intercepted conversations imply that the former President was anxious to be kept informed over a probe into his alleged funding by the Libyan dictator

Paris

Nicolas Sarkozy badgered the head of the French security service for information on the progress of inquiries into his alleged funding by the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, it has emerged.

Judges investigating the alleged illegal financing of the former President’s 2007 election campaign tapped two phone calls by Mr Sarkozy to the head of the French equivalent of MI5, Le Monde has reported.

As a result, Patrick Calvar, head of the Direction Centrale du Renseignement Intérieur (DCRI) was questioned as a “witness” in the case by the two judge last Friday, according to Le Monde?

The approaches made by Mr Sarkozy, and similar calls by the head of his private office, are not illegal. They imply, however, that the former President was anxious to be kept informed about an investigation that he has publicly dismissed as “absurd” and “infamous”.

The revelations also give weight to previous allegations  that Mr Sarkozy has used his contacts as a former head of state  in relation to a tangle of judicial investigations into his alleged financial misconduct.

Mr Sarkozy and friends will, on the other hand, point to the latest development as further evidence of what he claims is a “Stasi-like” persecution by the Socialist administration of President François Hollande. Last month it was revealed that the judges had bugged phone conversations between Mr Sarkozy and his lawyer. It now emerges that police officers working with the judges were also listening in two calls – in June last year and in January this year - between Mr Sarkozy and the head of the French internal security service.

Inquiries by investigating magistrates in France are entirely independent of the government of the day. Nonetheless, Mr Sarkozy alleged in a long newspaper article last month that the tapping of his phone had been inspired by the government and that his political opponents had been reading transcripts of his intimate, personal conversations.

Mr Sarkozy has been accused by one of Mr Gaddafi’s sons and several ex-Gaddafi aides of taking either €20m or €50m from the late Libyan dictator to fund his successful 2007 presidential campaign. No clear evidence to back the claims has emerged. One document leaked to the French press proved to be a forgery.

Nonetheless, according to Le Monde, Mr Sarkozy personally phoned the head of the DCRI, Mr Calvar, to ask whether the security service was helping in the investigations. In one call, according to the leak, he was especially keen to know whether the DCRI had questioned Mr Gaddafi’s personal interpreter, Moftah Missouri.

In June last year – just before the first of Mr Sarkozy’s calls - Mr Missouri told a French TV documentary that Mr Gaddafi had informed him “verbally” of a €20m payment to the future French president.

According to Le Monde, the DCRI head, Mr Calvar, refused to tell Mr Sarkozy whether his agency was investigating the Libyan allegations or not. He also refused to comment when questioned by the judges last Friday, saying DCRI business was a “state defence secret”.

Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
Arts and Entertainment
tvSpielberg involved in bringing his 2002 film to the small screen
Sport
sportLeague Managers' Association had described Malky Mackay texts as 'friendly banter'
News
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
i100
News
peopleCareer spanned 70 years, including work with Holocaust survivors
News
people
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
News
London is the most expensive city in Europe for cultural activities such as ballet
arts
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
tv
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of IT (Not-for-Profit sector) - East Sussex

£45000 - £50000 per annum + 5 weeks holiday & benefits: Ashdown Group: Head of...

Nursery Nurse

£25 per day: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery nurse needed in th...

Supply Teaching jobs in Thetford

£21588 - £31566 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education ar...

KS1 teachers needed in Peterborough

£110 - £125 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education are ur...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape