France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) greets Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in Paris in this December 10, 2007. (File photo)
Recent media claims that former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi sought to fund the French President Nicolas Sarkozy campaign in 2007 have hampered his hopes of re-election.
Sarkozy on Sunday rejected the accusations as a “diversion” plotted by his Socialist opponents.
On Saturday, leftist French news website Mediapar
released a 2006 document in Arabic that was signed by Gaddafi's foreign intelligence Chief Mussa Kussa, offering 50 million euros to Sarkozy’s presidential election campaign.
said the agreement followed a meeting on October 6, 2006, attended by Gaddafi's spy Chief Abdullah Senussi, the head of Tripoli's African investment fund Bashir Saleh, close Sarkozy associate Brice Hortefeux and arms dealer Ziad Takieddine.
Last year, Muammar Gaddafi’s son Seif al-Islam also claimed Libya financed Sarkozy’s campaign.
The revelation comes as opinion polls predict Sarkozy would lose the May 6 runoff to Socialist Francois Hollande, who promises government-funded jobs programs and higher taxes on the rich.
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 Elysée Palace in Paris. The French president also reportedly referred to Gaddafi as the “Brother Leader” at the time.