The French Police have taken former President Nicolas Sarkozy into custody as part of an investigation into allegations that he received millions of euros from Libya to illegally finance his 2007 election campaign, AFP reported on Tuesday, citing a judicial source.
France started a judicial inquiry in 2013 into allegations that Sarkozy gained from illegal funds from the regime of late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. This is the first time that the 63-year-old right-wing politician is being questioned in the case. His former associate, Alexandre Djouhri, was arrested in London in January in connection with the case.
Sarkozy was being questioned at the Nanterre police station near Paris, according to AP.
In 2016, French-Lebanese businessman Ziad Takieddine had claimed that he delivered 5 million euros (approximately Rs 40.2 crore) in cash from Libya to Sarkozy and Claude Guéant who was his campaign director between 2006 and 2007.
Sarkozy has already been told to face trial in connection with a separate illegal campaign financing case. Sarkozy’s party, The Republican, has been accused of submitting false accounts to conceal the actual cost of his 2012 presidential election campaign. He reportedly was aware of the scam.
The former French president, however, has denied all the allegations. He was at the top post from 2007 to 2012 when he was replaced by Francois Hollande.