Sarkozy to file complaint over Gaddafi funding allegations

Sarkozy to file complaint over Gaddafi funding allegations

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Monday he would file a criminal complaint against a left-wing news website for alleging that late Libyan dictator Moamer Gaddafi's regime funded his 2007 election campaign, DPA reported.

At the weekend, Mediapart published what it presented as documentary evidence that the Gaddafi regime had contributed towards Sarkozy's first presidential campaign.

A document on the website dated from 2006 and written in Arabic refers to the "approval of support for the electoral campaign of the candidate Monsieur Nicolas Sarkozy for the presidential elections, to the sum of fifty million euros," according to a translation provided by Mediapart.

The document appears to bear the signature of then Libyan foreign intelligence chief Moussa Kusa.

Sarkozy, who is battling to win a second term in the final round of France's presidential election on Sunday, has vigorously denied the allegations.

"We will file a (criminal) complaint against Mediapart," he told France 2 television, insisting the document was a "crude forgery".

"Do you really think that, with what I did to Mr Gaddafi, he gave me a wire transfer?", Sarkozy asked, referring to his leadership of last year's campaign for foreign military intervention to help rout Gaddafi's regime.

Kusa, who lives in exile in Qatar, has also claimed the document is a fake.

The allegations come in the final days of campaigning by Sarkozy and Socialist frontrunner Francois Hollande in what looks set to be a close contest.

Polls give Hollande a lead of between six and ten points but show Sarkozy narrowing the gap in recent days.

Former International Monetary Fund chief and presidential hopeful Dominique Strauss-Kahn waded into the campaign at the weekend.

Strauss-Kahn, who was ruled out of the running for president last year after being arrested in New York on sexual assault charges told journalist Edward Jay Epstein in an interview published by Britain's The Guardian that the case against him, which was later dropped, was "shaped by those with a political agenda".

The remark by the Socialist politician, who has been charged in France with complicity in pimping, appeared aimed at people working for Sarkozy.

Reacting to the allegations, Sarkozy told a rally: "Enough is enough... I would tell Mr Strauss-Kahn to explain himself to the law."

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