PARIS (AP) — Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s lawyer says he will “prove the innocence” of his client, suspected of illegal campaign funding financed by the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
Thierry Herzog said Friday on RTL radio he is going to appeal against the judicial supervision imposed on Sarkozy.
The former president is banned from traveling to Libya, Egypt, Tunisia or South Africa and from meeting with nine people involved in the case.
“I’m going to bring evidence proving his innocence. And we’ll see who are the criminals, the thugs, the murderers, the thieves”, Herzog said.
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Sarkozy, 63, was this week handed preliminary charges of illegally funding his successful 2007 campaign, passive corruption and receiving money from Libyan embezzlement.
He vigorously denied the accusations on French television Thursday night.
“It’s an ignominious act, not (just) a lie,” he said on French station TF1. “I owe the French people the truth: I never betrayed their trust.”
His wife, model and singer Carla Bruni Sarkozy, posted a message on Instagram: “I’m proud of you my love. You are righteous, clear and strong”.
As France’s president from 2007 to 2012, Sarkozy put France in the forefront of the NATO-led airstrikes against Gadhafi’s troops that helped rebel fighters topple Gadhafi’s regime in 2011.
An investigation has been underway since 2013 into the case.
It got a boost when French-Lebanese businessman Ziad Takieddine told the online investigative site Mediapart in 2016 that he delivered suitcases from Libya containing 5 million euros ($6.2 million) in cash to Sarkozy and his former chief of staff, Claude Gueant.