Sarkozy aide sues for defamation over Kadhafi campaign-financing allegations
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Claude Guéant, a close aide to Nicolas Sarkozy and interior minister at the end of Sarkozy’s presidency, says he is suing the Franco-Lebanese businessman Ziad Takieddine, who has linked him to allegations that Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign was financed by Libya’s Moamer Kadhafi.
On Friday, after his home was searched by police, Takieddine declared that proof existed that Libya funded Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign, but the millionaire businessman said he would not reveal the evidence because he did not trust the justice system.
“All this is absolutely ridiculous, absolutely without foundation,” said Guéant on Tuesday.
Guéant was Sarkozy’s cabinet secretary at the time.
The raid at Takieddine’s Paris home was part of a preliminary enquiry launched after Nicolas Sarkozy filed a complaint against investigative news website Mediapart, alleging the use of falsified documents.
During the 2012 French presidential campaign Mediapart published a document which it claimed was from a Libyan former dignitary, declaring that Tripoli had agreed to finance Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign to the tune of 50 million euros.
Sarkozy lost the election to François Hollande.
According to Takieddine, four people, who are not in France, possess proof that Khaddaffi helped finance the campaign. He refuses to disclose whether these four people can be found.
Takieddine is under formal judicial investigation himself for an alleged role in organising and transmitting illegal kickbacks on multibillion dollar arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan in 1993-5.
It is alleged that some of these kickbacks funded the failed presidential bid of former French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur, whose campaign spokesman at the time was Nicolas Sarkozy. Investigation is also currently underway into this so-called Karachi affair.
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