French investigative magistrates on Friday ordered former president Nicolas Sarkozy and 12 others to go on trial on prices that his 2007 presidential campaign obtained thousands and thousands in unlawful financing from the federal government of late Libyan chief Moammar Gadhafi.
The nationwide monetary prosecutor, Jean-François Bohnert, introduced that the decade-long investigation has been formally closed. The trial will run from January to April 2025, the assertion stated.
The case is the most important and most stunning of a number of corruption investigations involving Sarkozy. He has been convicted in two others. He denies wrongdoing in all instances.
Within the Libya case, he’s charged with unlawful campaign financing, embezzling, passive corruption and associated counts.
Sarkozy has been beneath investigation within the Libya case since 2013. Investigators examined claims that Gadhafi’s authorities secretly gave Sarkozy 50 million euros for his successful 2007 campaign. The sum can be greater than double the authorized campaign funding restrict on the time and would violate French guidelines in opposition to overseas campaign financing.
The investigation gained traction when French-Lebanese businessman Ziad Takieddine instructed information website Mediapart in 2016 that he had delivered suitcases from Libya containing 5 million euros ($6.2 million) in money to Sarkozy and his former chief of workers. Takieddine later reversed course and Sarkozy sought to have the investigation closed.
After changing into president in 2007, Sarkozy welcomed Gadhafi to France with excessive honors later that 12 months. Sarkozy then put France on the forefront of NATO-led airstrikes that helped insurgent fighters topple Gadhafi’s authorities in 2011.
In an unrelated case, Sarkozy was sentenced to a 12 months of home arrest for unlawful campaign financing of his unsuccessful 2012 reelection bid. He’s free whereas the case is pending attraction.
He additionally was discovered responsible of corruption and affect peddling in one other case and sentenced to a 12 months of home arrest in an appeals trial in Could this 12 months. He took the case to France’s highest courtroom, which suspended the sentence.