Sarkozy slams claims ex-Libyan leader Kadhafi funded 2007 electoral campaign
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has described as "grotesque" accusations in a document published by a left-wing investigative French website that his 2007 presidential campaign allegedly received funds from deposed Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi.
"If he had financed it, I wasn't very grateful," Sarkozy said sarcastically, in an apparent reference to the active role that France played in the Nato campaign that led to the strongman's ouster.
On Monday the Mediapart site, a respected source seen as opposed to Sarkozy's right-wing government, published the report which is based on testimony by a former doctor of a French arms dealer who is alleged to have arranged the campaign donation of up to 50 million euros.
The report has revived long-running allegations that French political camps have benefited financially from kickbacks on arms deals with foreign regimes.
It was written by private operative Jean-Charles Brisard - a French arms dealer who is already under investigation and who allegedly arranged the campaign donation with Saif.
In his report he alleges "the modalities of the financing of the campaign" of "NS" were "settled during the visit to Libya of NS + BH" on October 6, 2005.
The initials 'NS' are alleged to refer to Sarkozy, while 'BH' to Brice Hortefeux, the former interior minister and longtime Sarkozy ally who is currently a close adviser to the French leader's current re-election bid.
Kadhafi's son and heir apparent Saif al-Islam last year claimed that Libya financed Sarkozy's campaign, after Paris abandoned its improving ties with Libya and threw its weight behind the rebellion that eventually deposed and killed the dictator.
"Sarkozy must first give back the money he took from Libya to finance his electoral campaign. We funded it and we have all the details and are ready to reveal everything," Saif told the Euronews network.
When asked about Saif's comments during an interview on one of France’s main TV channels on Monday evening, Sarkozy replied: "It's grotesque and I am sorry that I am being interrogated about declarations of Kadhafi or his son on an important channel like TF1.