France: Sarkozy to face trial for receiving funds from Libya’s Gaddafi 0

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will face a trial in 2025 on charges of corruption and receiving illegal funding from former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi for his successful 2007 presidential campaign, according to France’s financial prosecutors.

An initial hearing is set for March 7, 2024, the prosecutor’s office said, with the trial itself scheduled to take place between Jan.6, 2025 and April 10, 2025.

The 68-year-old is also fighting various other charges, including “concealment of embezzlement of public funds, passive corruption, and illegal campaign financing, the prosecutor’s office said.

The investigation was sparked by revelations from the investigative website Mediapart which published a document purporting to show that Gaddafi agreed to give Sarkozy up to 50 million euros ($54 million at current rates).

Sarkozy could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted in the case, while he has repeatedly denied the accusations. “There’s not even the smallest inkling of proof,” he said in an interview in 2018.

In addition to Sarkozy, there are 12 others facing the trial among them heavyweights such as Sarkozy’s former right-hand man Claude Gueant, his then head of campaign financing Eric Woerth and former interior minister Brice Hortefeux.

Sarkozy has already been convicted twice for corruption and influence-peddling in separate cases involving attempts to influence a judge and campaign financing.

He lost an appeal in May against a 2021 conviction for corruption and influence peddling. His legal team promised to challenge that at France’s highest court.

Sarkozy championed a NATO-led military intervention in Libya, taking advantage of an uprising against Gaddafi in 2011, which plunged the African country into chaos and infighting continuing to this day.

Before Sarkozy, the only former French leader to be sentenced at trial was his predecessor Jacques Chirac, who received a two-year suspended sentence in 2011 for corruption over a fake jobs scandal relating to his time as Paris mayor.

Source: Presstv