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CLARA MOSCHINI

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France: Sarkozy in custody

Funded by Gaddafi in the run to the Élysée?

The investigation of Libyan funding is tightening up in the 2007 French election campaign

The French newspaper "Le Monde" anticipates it in these hours: the ex-French president Nicholas Sarkozy was arrested this morning as part of investigations into alleged illegal financing by Libya of Gaddafi linked to the 2007 election campaign, which led the then ex-finance minister and then the interior, at the Élysée with the president's mandate until 2012, defeating rival Ségolène Royal.

The preventive detention took place in Nanterre, north-west of Paris, and while we write "Sarkò" is in the premises of the anti-corruption office of the judicial police. Also in these hours the gendarmerie is also listening as a witness to the ex-right-hand man and former interior minister of Sarkozy, Brice Hortefeux.

The investigation

It all began with an investigation launched following the publication by "Mediapart" on its website in May 2012 of a Libyan document that talked about funding provided by the rais Mu'ammar Gheddafi to Sarkozy in the 2007 presidential race. The contents of the document were then corroborated by the testimony of the businessman -as well as intermediary for the international Franco-Lebanese arms market Ziad Takieddine, who in November 2016 declared to have delivered in France at the beginning of 2007 five million euros cash from Tripoli, directly in the hands of Sarkozy's then country director, Claude Guéant, who later became secretary general of the presidency of the French Republic alongside the newly elected Sarkozy.

It does not end here: always according to "Le Monde" a notebook belonging to the former Libyan oil minister Choukri Ghanem, found dead in circumstances never clarified in the Danube waters in April 2012, contained notes about millions of Euros that Libya would have paid to Sarkozy in early 2007. Ghanem was found dead between the first and second round of the French presidential elections.

Finally, there is the recent statement made by delegate of economic relations between Libya and France, Bechir Saleh, to the French newspaper after being shot and wounded in Johannesburg, South Africa: "Gaddafi said he financed Sarkozy. Sarkozy said he had not been financed, I believe more to Gaddafi than to Sarkozy".

The end of the Gaddafi regime

In 2011 the decision to upset the regime of Gaddafi with an unprecedented determination was taken by Sarkozy, supported by the United Kingdom of Tony Blair, by NATO and then by a hesitant but obedient Italy, who agreed to grant territory and airspace to the "new crusade" against own interests (two-thirds of the oil concessions in Libya were Eni, which had invested considerable sums in infrastructure and facilities for the extraction, treatment and storage of gas and oil whose main destination it was the "Bel Paese"). Later Obama's America would be added.

At the outbreak of hostilities, Italy mobilized and re-deployed 200 men of aviation and 1000 sailors. The Italian government provided the international coalition engaged in raids the logistics and strategic support of seven air bases on its territory. The center of command and coordination of the allied operations was established at the Naples-Capodichino airport. Also the military airport of Trapani-Birgi granted. The Amendola military airport was also used, where the AMX fighter planes and Predator remotely piloted aircraft were armed, and the Gioia del Colle base that hosted the Eurofighter. To these were added the ship station of Sigonella, Aviano, Decimomannu and Pantelleria, the closest to Libya. To the air support was added the Italian naval device, already fully operational for days. And it was only in the first day of the conflict that led to the killing of Gaddafi.

It was on October 20, 2011, and the Mu'ammar was removed and found the death following the military intervention of a coalition led by Sarkozy, the man -if the investigation will prove it- arrived to the Elysee thanks also to the money of the Libyan rais.

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