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French ex-President Sarkozy faces probe over alleged Qaddafi funding


May 4, 2012: This photo shows France's then President and conservative candidate for re-election in 2012, Nicolas Sarkozy as he delivers a speech during a campaign meeting in Sables d'Ollonne, western France. (AP/File)

French authorities are probing allegations that former President Nicolas Sarkozy utilized illicit campaign contributions from the late Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, the public prosecutor’s office said on Friday.

Reuters reports the inquiry into Sarkozy’s funding for his 2007 election bid stems from allegations lodged by a Franco-Lebanese businessman, Ziad Takieddine, who is, himself, being investigated for selling arms to Pakistan during the 1990s.

Already plagued by accusations that he conned an elderly French heiress into donating to his campaign, Sarkozy has denied the allegations and said that his efforts to unseat Qaddafi prove that he is innocent of the charges.

Qaddafi , who was killed during a popular uprising in Libya in 2011, met Sarkozy in Paris in 2007, Reuters reports.