Former Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi helped fund French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign, according to documents revealed by the French website Mediapart.
The report comes as Sarkozy is trailing Socialist candidate Francois Hollande one week before the final round of voting.
Qaddafi allegedly contributed $65 million to Sarkozy’s campaign coffers, according to a document written by an investigator who worked for lawyers representing victims of 9/11 attacks in the United States.
Mediapart said the investigator, Jean-Charles Brisard, worked as an adviser on terror for several French departments and was awarded by Sarkozy one year after he was elected president.
“Brisard’s report is based on confidential conversations he held with a French neurosurgeon, Didier Grosskopf, who was once close to Paris-based arms dealer Ziad Takieddine,” Mediapart reported. “Between 2004 and 2006, Doctor Grosskopf accompanied the arms dealer on several trips to Libya to treat members of Qaddafi’s family,” it added.
The news site said a document disclosed information given by Brisard by Doctor Grosskopf in 2006 and refers to Sarkozy and Takieddine by their initials.”
The allegation cropped up in 2011, and Sarkozy previously called it "grotesque." “I would not have been very grateful” had he thought Qaddafi funded his campaign, Sarkozy said last month.
The claim that Qaddafi funded Sarkozy’s campaign was made last year by the dictator’s son Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, who has been captured by the new regime and is awaiting trial. "The first thing we want this clown to do is give the money back to the Libyan people. He was given assistance so he could help them, but he has disappointed us," Qaddafi's son said after France recognized the National Transitional Council.
However, he never displayed evidence of contributions.
While Sarkozy ridiculed the allegations as being baseless, Hollande’s campaign spokeswoman was quoted by CNN as saying, "The fact that these revelations take place within days of the second round of the presidential election is not sufficient to demonstrate that they are 'grotesque.' It is now up to justice to reveal the truth: Either establish the facts and prosecute, or otherwise provide proof that these are false allegations.”