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Nicolas Sarkozy to Face Trial for Alleged Libya Financing of 2007 Presidential Campaign

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and 12 others have been ordered to stand trial on charges of receiving illegal financing from the government of late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi during Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign. The trial is set to take place from January to April 2025.

This case is the largest and most significant among several corruption investigations involving Sarkozy. While he has been convicted in two other cases, he maintains his innocence in all instances.

In the Libya case, Sarkozy is accused of illegal campaign financing, embezzlement, passive corruption, and related charges. The investigation started in 2013 and focused on allegations that Gadhafi’s government secretly provided Sarkozy with 50 million euros for his successful 2007 campaign. This amount exceeded the legal campaign funding limit and violated French rules against foreign campaign financing.

The investigation gained traction in 2016 when businessman Ziad Takieddine claimed that he had delivered suitcases containing 5 million euros in cash from Libya to Sarkozy and his former chief of staff. However, Takieddine later changed his statement, and Sarkozy attempted to close the investigation.

In an unrelated case, Sarkozy has already been sentenced to a year of house arrest for illegal campaign financing during his unsuccessful 2012 reelection bid. He is currently free while the case is under appeal.

Sarkozy also faced a separate trial for corruption and influence peddling, resulting in a year of house arrest. However, he took the case to France’s highest court, which suspended the sentence.

In 2007, Sarkozy welcomed Gadhafi to France with honors and later played a leading role in the NATO-led airstrikes that helped oust Gadhafi’s government in 2011.

Overall, the trial of Nicolas Sarkozy for alleged Libya financing of his 2007 presidential campaign is a significant development in the long-running corruption investigations involving the former French President.

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