Officials say former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is facing preliminary charges in an investigation linked to allegations that he took 50 million euros ($67 million) in illegal campaign funds from Libya's Moammar Gadhafi.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says the allegations against Sarkozy are serious and that the judicial investigation is being carried out independently of the Socialist government, which defeated Sarkozy in elections in 2012.

"No one is above the law," Valls told BFM television Wednesday.

Former Prime Minister Alain Juppe, of Sarkozy's UMP party, tweeted support for Sarkozy: "His defense will show he is innocent, I hope."

The French daily Le Monde says the questioning centers around whether Sarkozy and his lawyer were kept informed about the investigation by a friendly magistrate.