Nicolas Sarkozy held over campaign funding probe

Nicolas Sarkozy held over campaign funding probe

He is being quizzed by cops over allegations relating to his 2007 presidential campaign, a judicial source has said to French paper Le Monde.

The former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been taken into police custody to be questioned over allegations that he received millions of euros in illegal election campaign funding from the regime of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

This is the first time Sarkozy is being heard in the probe that was launched five years ago.

"This network, dedicated to the protection of the former head of state, is composed of police officers or magistrates who remained loyal to the former president, but also businessmen, intermediaries, diplomats and even journalists", the daily said.

An investigation has been under way since 2013 into the case, involving funding for his winning 2007 presidential campaign. Sarkozy has so far contested accusations of illegal financing.

Sarkozy can be held for questioning for 48 hours.

Sarkozy has repeatedly denied all allegations of any illicit funding by Libya, dismissing the claims as "grotesque".

Sarkozy has already been ordered to stand trial in a separate matter concerning financing of his failed re-election campaign in 2012, when he was defeated by Francois Hollande.

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