LONDON (AA) – French judges have ruled a document claiming ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy was offered 50 million euros as an election campaign donation by Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi is authentic, a British daily reported Tuesday.
The document, first revealed by French news site Mediapart in 2012, allegedly shows Sarkozy made a deal with the late Libyan dictator for a donation of 50 million euros ($56.8 million) for Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential election campaign, in which he defeated the Socialist Party’s Ségolène Royal.
Sarkozy, who has denied any wrongdoing, argued the document was a fake and filed a complaint against Mediapart.
The judges in charge of the case ruled last week that it could not be proven that the document had been “fabricated” or “altered by falsifications”, according to French daily Le Monde.
Written in Arabic, the document was signed by Mussa Kussa – an intelligence chief in the Gaddafi regime – and refers to an “agreement in principle to support the campaign for the candidate for the presidential elections, Nicolas Sarkozy, for a sum equivalent to Euro 50million”, the Daily Mail reported Tuesday.
The money was alleged to have been laundered through bank accounts in Panama and Switzerland, the newspaper added.
The judges specify in their ruling that the probe had not dealt with “the reality or the falsity of facts of which this document is supposed to establish the existence, i.e. the alleged financing of Mr. Sarkozy’s 2007 electoral campaign by Lybia.”
A separate investigation on allegations of corruption is ongoing.
French electoral law bans candidates from receiving cash donations above 8,000 euros ($9,090), according to the Daily Mail.
Gaddafi was killed in an uprising in 2011, aided in part by French airstrikes.
Sarkozy is rumored to be considering running for the presidency again in next year’s election.