World Bulletin / News Desk
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy suffered another blow to his 2017 re-election hopes on Thursday after the French daily, Le Monde, revealed details of a judicial probe into alleged illegal financing of his presidential campaign in 2007.
Le Monde said it had access to probe details, including telephone interceptions and unnamed testimonies. Judges Serge Tournaire and Aude Buresi had been working on the case involving ex-premier since April 2013 to determine if the 2007 presidential campaign of Sarkozy was the subject of illegal funding from Libya.
Last June, French judges ruled a document claiming Sarkozy was offered €50 million ($56.8 million) as an election campaign donation by Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi was authentic.
The document, first revealed by investigative French news site Mediapart in 2012, allegedly showed Sarkozy made the deal with Gaddafi for his 2007 presidential election campaign, in which he defeated the Socialist Party’s Segolene Royal.
Le Monde said it would be publishing in three successive publications “the existence of a vast criminal system, involving senior officials linked to Nicolas Sarkozy.
“This network, dedicated to the protection of the former head of state, is composed of police officers or magistrates who remained loyal to the former president, but also businessmen, intermediaries, diplomats and even journalists,” the daily said.
This organized network had allegedly been set up after the arrival of Sarkozy at the Interior Ministry in 2002, which strengthened further after he entered the presidential Elysee Palace in 2007.
Separately, prosecutors recommended in September that Sarkozy and 13 others stand trial over an alleged multi-million euro fraud related to illegal financing of his 2012 presidential election campaign.
Even if the case goes ahead experts say it is not certain if Sarkozy would be among the accused.
The revelations comes as Sarkozy takes part Thursday night in Les Republicans party’s second of three planned debates ahead of the Nov. 20 (and 27) primary and next year's presidential election.Last Mod: 03 Kasım 2016, 19:52