Nicolas Sarkozy suffered the humiliation of being detained by police yesterday over allegations that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi funded his rise to power.
Sarkozy, who came under fire for giving Gaddafi a red-carpet reception in Paris in late 2007, said his problems began in March 2011 after he hosted Libyan rebels and went on to become one of the main advocates of a NATO-led campaign that resulted in the dictator's overthrow and killing by rebels in 2011.
In November 2016, Ziad Takieddine, a French-Lebanese millionaire, claimed that he had personally overseen the cash transfer of 5 million euros ($6.3 million) from Libya to Sarkozy's entourage in 2006, when Sarkozy was France's interior minister. Under French law, he can be held for up to 48 hours.
"Nicolas Sarkozy is no longer in custody", a source close to the case told AFP. He lost his re-election campaign in 2012.
It is the second major judicial investigation to fall on the 63-year-old, who served as president from 2007-2012. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas.
In December 2007, Gaddafi made an official visit to France, where Sarkozy received him in the Elysee Palace.
The suspicions behind this case first emerged in 2012, when the investigative news website Mediapart published a report suggesting that Mr. Sarkozy's 2007 campaign had received up to 50 million euros, or almost $62 million at current exchange rates, from the regime of Colonel Qaddafi, the longtime Libyan strongman who was killed in 2011.
After leaving office, his predecessor, Jacques Chirac, was convicted in 2011 of misusing public funds to maintain political friends in phantom jobs - making him the first French head of state to be convicted of a crime since Nazi collaborator Marshall Philippe Petain in 1945.
He has been a focus of the inquiry opened in 2013 by judges investigating earlier claims by Gaddafi and his son Seif al-Islam that they provided funds for Sarkozy's election effort.
Such a sum would be more than double the legal campaign funding limit at the time of 21 million euros.
It is not the first time Sarkozy has been brought in for questioning.
The allegations first emerged after he spearheaded an worldwide military campaign to topple the Libyan regime in 2011.
Bachir Saleh: Saleh was Gaddafi's former treasurer, and said Gaddafi financed Sarkozy, according to Le Monde.