Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy says a corruption case involving funds allegedly received from slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has made his life a living hell.
According to him, he is only being targeted because of his role in the NATO-backed operation that helped topple the former Libyan strong man in 2011.
Whiles maintaining his innocence, the 63-year-old was quoted by the Le Figaro newspaper as telling magistrates: “I am accused without any physical evidence. I’ve been living the hell of this slander since March 11, 2011.”
The case against him started in 2011 but is connected to illicit campaign financing that led to his victory in the 2007 presidential elections.
The case which has been experiencing a back and forth since 2011 but resulted in the opening of a judicial inquiry by French prosecutors in 2013. Sarkozy was detained by police earlier this week and has formally been charged.
Meanwhile, from an undisclosed location, son of the former Libyan leader, Saif al-Islam told Africanews in an exclusive interview that he welcomed the detention and was ready to help to prosecute Sarkozy.
Saif al-Islam revealed that there are key witnesses willing to testify against Sarkozy, including Abdallah Sanoussi, the former director of the Libyan intelligence services and also Bashir Saleh Bashir, the former CEO of Libya Investment.
The Libyan 'successor' turned ex-prisoner: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi https://t.co/bkbgGKvBbW— africanews (@africanews) June 20, 2017
According to him, Sarkozy was a war criminal who is responsible for the spread of terrorism and illegal immigration in Libya. He urged current French president Emmanuel Macron to ensure Sarkozy accounts for crimes committed against Libya.
The 45-year-old who is eyeing the Libyan presidency when next elections are held also told Africanews that he supports an expeditious organisation of presidential elections in the North African country.
He warned that there are parties in Libya and abroad that seek to maintain the current chaotic situation in Libya, saying an endless war is imminent if elections are not held quickly. Human Rights Watch, however, says the country is not ready to do so in its recent report.
Below is an interview he had with our sister channel Euronews in 2011.
WATCH: During an exclusive interview with Euronews in 2011, Colonel Gaddafi's son demanded Sarkozy to repay Libya the money he took for his 2007 campaign election that helped him become French president.— euronews (@euronews) March 20, 2018
Read more: https://t.co/JE4l87W762 pic.twitter.com/Mo3SHK2D1V