Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been placed in police custody over alleged Libyan aid to help fund his 2007 presidential election campaign, Reuters and local media report citing judicial sources.

In 2014, France’s second-largest public television channel, France-3, made waves after airing an audio excerpt from an interview with Muammar Gaddafi. The late Libyan leader claimed that he financed Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidential campaign in 2007.

“It’s me who made him president,” Gaddafi said in an interview recorded in 2011. Gaddafi was speaking in Tripoli in mid-March, just a few days before the first Western strikes that led to his downfall and killing by militias in October, 2011.

Claims that Sarkozy allegedly received backing from Gaddafi first surfaced in 2012, when Mediapart news agency accused him of accepting €50 million from the Libyan leader to fund his 2007 campaign.

The agency published a statement signed by former Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa asserting that the claim was true. Sarkozy accused the organization of slander, dismissing the claims as “grotesque.”

The former president’s alleged ties with Gaddafi came under the spotlight again in November 2016 after a French-Lebanese businessman, Ziad Takieddine, told Mediapart that he had delivered €50mn from the Libyan leader for Sarkozy’s presidential bid.

“It was a case like that. It opened like this. And the money was inside,” Takieddine said in a film released by Mediapart.

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