'Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was on Wednesday night charged over a probe into whether his 2007 election campaign received £42 million in illegal funding from the Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi.
In a bombshell for French politics, investigating magistrates in the Paris suburb of Nanterre said they were placing Mr Sarkozy, 63, under what is known as formal investigation in France for passive corruption, illegal electoral campaign funding, and - most damning of all - concealing Libyan public funds.
The judges had quizzed the former conservative French leader for 15 hours on Tuesday and all day Wednesday over claims that Mr Sarkozy’s campaign had breached France’s strict political financing rules by accepting money from Gaddafi.
According to BFM TV, two of the charges carry maximum sentences of ten years in prison and €150,000 fines.
The investigation first emerged in a 2012 report by news website Mediapart.
Ziad Takieddine, a French-Lebanese arms dealer who introduced Mr Sarkozy to Gaddafi, told Mediapart in 2016 that he had carried three suitcases stuffed with cash from Libya to Paris, personally handing over €5 million intended for Mr Sarkozy’s campaign to his then chief of staff - and later interior minister - Claude Guéant in 2006 and 2007.'
Read more: Sarkozy charged over Libyan cash for campaign
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