France’s Sarkozy charged with criminal conspiracy over Libya money

Nicolas Sarkozy faces charges linked to money provided by former Libyan leader Gaddafi for his election campaign

By MEE and agencies

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, poses during a studio photo session in Paris ahead of the 2017 presidential election (AFP)

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been charged with conspiracy over claims he used cash from late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi for his 2007 election campaign.

Prosecutors told AFP he was charged with “membership in a criminal conspiracy” on Monday, after they interviewed the conservative politician for more than 40 hours over four days.

The conspiracy charge comes in addition to charges lodged in 2018 of “passive corruption,” “benefitting from embezzled public funds” and “illegal campaign financing” for which Sarkozy already faces trial.

Prosecutors suspect that Sarkozy and his associates received tens of millions of euros from Gaddafi, who was overthrown in a Nato-backed uprising in 2011.

Sarkozy said on his Facebook page on Friday that his “innocence has been tarnished” and has denied any wrongdoing.

During questioning Sarkozy, who was president of France from 2007 to 2012, said he “answered every question I was asked without ever being put in difficulty.”

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