The two investigating judges in charge of this judicial investigation opened since April 2013 announced that they would close their investigations on Friday, according to the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF), confirming information from the Obs.

These thirteen suspects and the civil parties can now send their observations to the magistrates. Then, the PNF will take its requisitions, before the investigating judges order or not a trial before the Paris Criminal Court.

Nicolas Sarkozy, who disputes the facts, is indicted in particular for passive corruption and criminal association. His lawyer declined to comment.

This resounding investigation was opened after the publication by Mediapart in 2012, between the two presidential rounds, of a document supposed to prove that the victorious campaign of Nicolas Sarkozy had been financed by the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.

Testimonies from Libyan dignitaries, notes from the Tripoli secret services, accusations from an intermediary… In nearly ten years of work, the magistrates have gathered a number of disturbing clues which have given substance to this thesis.

However, no material evidence has yet been found, even if suspicious movements of funds have led to these thirteen indictments in this main section.

– “Where is the money ?” –

“You have neither proof of arrival nor proof of exit concerning the money. Where is the money then?” Asked the former head of state to the magistrates during an interrogation in October 2020, after which he was indicted for “criminal association”.

This offense suggests that Nicolas Sarkozy knowingly let his close collaborators, his political supporters and intermediaries “act in order to obtain or attempt to obtain financial support for the financing of his 2007 electoral campaign”, at the rate of several million euros.

Could the Sarkozy camp have promised diplomatic, economic and legal compensation to Muammar Gaddafi? sought to determine the financial magistrates.

The former president, who has multiplied the appeals to have the charges quashed, delivered his reading of the file: according to him, the Franco-Lebanese intermediary Ziad Takieddine, central role in this file, would have abused “Libyan funds to divert them for his benefit”, while claiming that they were intended for the campaign of the future head of state.

With the approach of the fall of the Gaddafi regime in 2011, the Libyans would have tried everything for everything by threatening Nicolas Sarkozy with “false” accusations, according to him.

Among the twelve other suspects are Ziad Takieddine and Franco-Algerian Alexandre Djouhri, businessmen suspected of having served as intermediaries, as well as former ministers Claude Guéant, Eric Woerth and Brice Hortefeux.

“After 10 years, the file will not have succeeded in establishing that there was the slightest euro cent that was used to contribute” to this campaign, reacted to AFP Me Philippe Bouchez El Ghozi , lawyer for Claude Guéant who was Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign manager in 2007.

“This is what Claude Guéant has said constantly and repeatedly for 10 years,” said Bouchez El Ghozi.

Me Elise Arfi, lawyer for Mr. Takieddine, who fled to Lebanon in 2020, “hopes” for her part “that we can find a way to lift his arrest warrant so that he can come and participate and defend at trial.

This already sprawling investigation was enriched in 2021 with a section on a possible attempted bribery by Ziad Takieddine, who temporarily withdrew his charges against Nicolas Sarkozy at the end of 2020. Another part concerns an attempt to bribe Lebanese magistrates to obtain the release of Hannibal Gaddafi, son of Muammar Gaddafi imprisoned in Lebanon.

Withdrawn from political life since 2016 but still popular on the right, the former head of state appealed his two prison sentences, in two other cases; one called “wiretapping” and the other “Bygmalion affair”.