This is the fourth indictment for the former head of state in the Libyan financing of his 2007 campaign. The person concerned expressed his “amazement”.
Of all the charges against Nicolas Sarkozy, this is probably the most infamous. After four days of hearing and more than forty hours of questioning at the financial center of the Paris judicial court, the former head of state has just been indicted for “conspiracy” in the investigation into the suspicions of Libyan financing of his 2007 campaign, as revealed by Mediapart. A first for a former President of the Republic.
Already triply indicted in this case for «corruption passive», “Concealment of embezzlement of public funds” and “Illegal campaign financing”, he had so far refused to answer on the merits of the case, on the grounds that his requests for nullity had not all been served. But one judgment of the Paris Court of Appeal of September 24 rejected most of these appeals and allowed to relaunch the investigations, forcing the former president to come out of his silence. On the announcement of this new indictment, he hastened to publish a post on his Facebook page to express his “Greater amazement” and deplore the “Improbable credit” granted to “Statements of murderers, notorious crooks and false witnesses”. “My innocence is again flouted by a decision which does not yield the slightest proof of any illicit financing”, he was indignant, regretting not being able to produce “The 120 pages of minutes” of his hearing and swearing that he would eventually prove his “Perfect innocence”.
Already tense context
But in seven years of investigation, in the absence of irrefutable evidence, investigating judges Serge Tournaire, Aude Buresi and Marc Sommerer have accumulated many clues accrediting the Libyan regime’s thesis of illegal financing of its campaign. especially suspicious transfers made to some of his relatives. At the end of 2019, Mediapart revealed that one of its former collaborators, Thierry Gaubert, had received 440,000 euros in Libyan money on a secret account opened in the Bahamas, through a company of the intermediary Ziad Takieddine. This sum, half of which was withdrawn in cash shortly before the election, could have been used to finance part of the 2007 campaign.
This discovery had in any case pushed the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) to take a supplementary indictment, before the examining magistrates indict Thierry Gaubert for “criminal association” and forbid him to come into contact with Nicolas Sarkozy .
This new procedural step comes in a particularly tense context for the former head of state, who will have to face two historic trials in the coming months. In the first, which is due to start in November, he is sent back for «corruption» with his lawyer Thierry Herzog for having promised a post in Monaco to a high magistrate of the Court of Cassation in exchange for information on an ongoing judicial file. In the second, scheduled for April 2021, he will appear for “Illegal campaign financing” because of the exceeding of the ceiling of his expenses during the presidential election of 2012. Already unprecedented, the situation of Nicolas Sarkozy could thus worsen still further, with the prospect of a third even more threatening trial.