A French investigative news website says that slain Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi had contributed 50 million euros to French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s election campaign in 2007.
In a report published on Monday, the Mediapart news website claimed that one of its journalists has seen documents confirming the contributions.
According to the report, the money had been laundered through bank accounts in Switzerland and Panama.
“We knew these documents existed but it is the first time we have had the details of what was in them,” Mediapart journalist Fabrice Arfi said.
“And there are lots of details, including dates, places and amounts,” Arfi added.
The French president angrily denied the allegations during an interview at TF1, the French national television channel.
“If he [Gaddafi] had financed it [the election campaign], then I haven’t been very grateful,” Sarkozy replied to a journalist asking about the report.
Sarkozy was the French interior minister before the presidential election in 2007. Upon winning the election, he invited Gaddafi to France and let him set up his Bedouin tent close to the Elysee Palace in Paris during his stay in the European country. The French president also reportedly referred to Gaddafi as the “Brother Leader” at the time.
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