Former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy has been questioned by an investigating judge in France, regarding the Libyan financing of his 2007 election campaign.
This development comes after the Lebanese-French intermediary, Ziad Takieddine retracted his accusations against Sarkozy.
French media reported that Sarkozy was interrogated by investigative judges late on Tuesday, as part of an inquiry initiated in May 2021.
The questioning was initially scheduled to take place from 12-14 September, but was postponed.
Sarkozy categorically denied any involvement in the alleged wrongdoing during a twelve-hour hearing in mid-June, before financial investigators from the Central Office for the Fight against Corruption.
Based on his statements to the investigating judge and the assessment conducted, Sarkozy could emerge either as a suspect or in a less incriminating status, potentially sparing him from further prosecution related to this case.
After 10 years of judicial investigation, 13 individuals have been referred to a criminal court, regarding the financing of Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 French Presidential campaign, including a former CEO of the aviation company, Airbus.
In March 2022, the former CEO of Airbus, Edward Olmos was arrested. The investigating judges suspect him of receiving undue commissions for the sale of 12 planes to Libya.
The former executive is charged with “complicity in corruption, active bribery, criminal association, and money laundering.”
Throughout this time, Airbus claimed that it “cooperated with the authorities as part of a French judicial investigation concerning Libya. Accordingly, the company responded positively to the authorities’ requests for information.”
According to the French newspaper, Libération, Olmos is accused of issuing an order to pay two million euros to Sarkozy’s business manager, Alexandre Djouhri, after the sale of 12 planes to Libya in 2006.
During the investigation, Djouhri admitted to receiving bribes. The intermediary, who was seen wearing an Airbus badge during the contract signing, was linked to Bashir Saleh, a close associate of Gaddafi.