Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and twelve others will face trial for allegedly concealing funds provided by the regime Muammar Gaddafi for his 2007 election campaign, as announced by the Prosecutor’s Office this Friday. The trial is expected to begin in 2025.
Sarkozy, who remains a major figure in French politics even though he no longer holds any elected office, has always denied the accusations. “There is not the slightest hint of proof,” she said in an interview in 2018.
The former conservative president, in office between 2007 and 2012, could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted in the case. He is also fighting various other legal cases.
Sarkozy, who was already sentenced to three years in prison for corruption and influence peddling, now faces another process that could result in a sentence of more than ten years. She will face four charges including passive corruption, criminal association, illegal campaign financing and covering up the embezzlement of Libyan funds.
In addition to the former president, the trial will also seek to clarify the alleged responsibilities of former ministers such as Claude Guéant, Brice Hortefeux and Éric Woerth and the turbulent businessman and arms dealer Ziad Takieddine, who acted as an intermediary in the process.
The investigation began in 2013 when one of Gaddafi’s sons revealed his father’s financial connection to the then-presidential candidate. According to information from Libyan Intelligence published by ‘Mediapart’, the sum of the funds amounted to 50 million euros.
Sarkozy’s first conviction took place on March 1, 2021, and he became the first former French president to receive a prison sentence effective, with three years in prison, of which two were suspended and the third will be served under house arrest, on charges of corruption and influence peddling.
On September 30, 2021, Sarkozy was also sentenced to one year in prison, which he could serve under house arrest if confirmed on appeal, for the illegal financing of his 2012 presidential campaignin which he was defeated by the socialist François Hollande.