Interview International review Investigation

What Nicolas Sarkozy told the judges

Экс-президент Франции Николя Саркози
In this file photo taken on October 18, 2016 the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy poses for a portrait in Paris. Source: AFP PHOTO / JOEL SAGET.

This material belongs to: Le Figaro.

EXCLUSIVE – This is what Nicolas Sarkozy told the magistrates Wednesday evening during his appearance at the end of his custody.

“In the statement of facts that you intend to make to me, you indicated that I had worked to promote the interests of the Libyan state.

How can I say that I favoured the interests of the Libyan state?

It was I who got the UN mandate to strike Gaddafi‘s Libyan state. Without my political commitment, this regime would probably still be in place.

Colonel Gaddafi himself was not mistaken, since I remind you that between 2007 and March 10, 2011, there is no mention of the alleged financing of the campaign.

The declarations Mr. Gaddafi, his family and his band began only on March 11, 2011, that is to say the day after the reception at the Elysee of the CNT, that is to say the opponents of Gaddafi. It was then and never before the campaign of slander began.

I am accused without any physical evidence by the statements of Mr. Gaddafi, his son, his nephew, his cousin, his spokesman, his former prime minister and the statements of Mr. Takieddine which has been proven repeatedly that he received money from the Libyan state. I would say that he looted the Libyan state. With regard to Mr. Takieddine, I would like to remind you that he does not justify any meeting with me during this 2005-2011 period.

Better, in another procedure where you had access to the entirety of my 2007 agenda – L’Express published it – no one has ever mentioned any meeting with Mr. Takieddine. And for good reason, it never existed during all these years from 2004 to today.

During my custody, I demonstrated a lie by Mr. Takieddine.

Mr Takieddine reportedly saw Gaddafi’s son on 4 March 2011.

There can be no mistake on this date since it is the next day that Mr. Takieddine was arrested at Le Bourget with a large sum in cash.

In telling the interview, Takieddine said, “I asked Gaddafi’s son if it was true what he told Euronews about financing Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign.”

But this fact is materially impossible since the interview with Euronews of Saif Al Islam took place only 12 days later, on March 16th.

How can someone be questioned about a program that has not taken place and about what has not been said yet?

It’s a lie!

Mr. Takieddine lies when he says without any proof that he could enter Place Beauvau without justifying any appointment, simply by filing his name. We do not return to Beauvau without indicating who we have an appointment!

It’s a lie!

Third lie: he is mistaken about the alleged description of the premises of the Ministry of the Interior when he indicates that the office of Claude Gueant was on the first floor next to the apartment of the Minister of the Interior. It’s wrong! The office of the chief of staff, Claude Guéant or someone else, has always been on the ground floor, and on the first floor there is no office other than the minister’s office. It is very easily verifiable.

Finally, he says he went to the Ministry of the Interior around January 27, 2007 stating that he did not have an appointment with Claude Gueant. But he also had no appointment with me: my agenda will bear witness.

Fortunately, while he was carrying a briefcase, he said, containing 1.5 million euros, he said he crossed me by chance. What would he have done with this case if he had not crossed me?

All the investigations show that I have never been close to Mr Takieddine. He himself declared that I had never received him at the Elysee.

Given their lack of credibility, Mr Takieddine’s remarks can not in any way constitute serious and concordant evidence when one knows his judicial past and the many contradictory statements he has made.

The war waged by the international coalition in 2011 lasted from March to October 2011 and lasted 7 months. During these 7 months Mr. Gaddafi was alive, nothing prevented him from delivering the documents, photos, recordings, transfers that he and his relatives have indicated throughout the past seven years possessing at no time in no way do we see the beginning of the beginning.

Finally I must end with the document MEDIAPART, height of manipulation.

During my custody, I filed the investigators’ report on this document as part of Mr. Cros‘s investigation.

I quote the last three sentences: “The meeting mentioned by this writing could not be held on the date indicated, which seems to confirm that the content could be misleading. There is therefore a high probability that the document produced by MEDIAPART is a forgery “.

I am not the one who says so, it is the investigators in a proceeding parallel to yours on a complaint that I myself filed.

During the 24 hours of my custody, I tried with all the strength of conviction that is mine to show that the serious and concordant indications that are the condition of the indictment did not exist given the fragility of the document that was the subject of a judicial inquiry and in view of Mr. Takieddine’s highly suspicious characteristics and heavy past.

Regarding the illegal financing of the 2007 campaign, I did not know that there was a suppletive indictment of the head of this crime, including at the beginning of my custody, since when the investigators presented to me the reasons for the custody at sight, this offence was not included.

I gave the police officers who interrogated me a decision of final dismissal on the head of the crime of illegal financing of political party as illegal campaign financing since your colleague Mr. Gentil had long investigated the 2007 campaign, not to know if it had been financed by the Libyans, but by Mrs. Bettencourt.

I specify that it was not me who benefited from a dismissal for this offence since I had not been put under examination for that. But this crime was dismissed by Judge Gentil for the 2007 campaign.

I also submitted an article commenting on this non-place and indicating that in any case, for the parquet of Bordeaux, the facts were prescribed and this as of 2013. If they were prescribed in 2013, what should one say for 2018?

The facts of which I am suspected are serious, I am aware of it. But if I do not stop proclaiming it with the utmost constancy and the greatest energy, if it is a manipulation of the dictator Gaddafi or his band, or his followers, of which Takieddine is obviously part, then I ask the magistrates that you are measuring the depth, the gravity, the violence of the injustice that would be done to me.

I have already paid a lot for this business. I explain: I lost the 2012 presidential election to 1.5%. The controversy launched by Gaddafi and his henchmen cost me this point and a half. The MEDIAPART document was published between the two towers on April 28, 2012 while I was in Clermont-Ferrand in the presence of Brice Hortefeux.

Mr. Takieddine has always said that he never gave me any cash until November 2016. Just exactly three days before the most important debate between candidates from the right to the primary.

I lost the primary and Mr. Takieddine’s statements are not for nothing. Statements immediately after an article in Le Monde, which contained the statements of Mr. Senoussi before the International Criminal Court, which Mr. Senoussi does not appear to me to be a witness of morality in the case of a man who implemented the UTA’s DC10 bombing, which killed dozens of our compatriots.

Since March 11, 2011, I live the hell of this slander.

To my knowledge, no tangible element other than the statements of the Gaddafi family, the clan, the affidés is likely to bring any credit to them.

Do you think that if I had the slightest thing to reproach myself for, I would have been stupid enough, mad enough to attack the one who would have financed me so much?

Why take this risk?

I am not an intimate of Takieddine. I was the leader of the coalition that destroyed the Gaddafi system and I have already paid a heavy price to this campaign rarely matched mud, slander and insanity.

I ask you with all the force of my indignation to retain clues and not serious and concordant clues.

If in the course of your subsequent investigations the leading elements appeared such that they did not appear during the last seven years, you would naturally be free to review your position.

In the Bettencourt case, I was first put under the status of witness assisted then indicted and finally I had a dismissal.

I think that to present the claim as I am doing is something honest, seems to me consistent with the attitude I have always had towards the judicial institution and yourself Mr. President.

I have never sought to evade my obligations in my dealings with my friends, my colleagues and all those named in the proceedings, you have seen that I have never sought to influence their statements or judgments, including those who are my closest collaborators still today.

And therefore I ask you to retain, as the law gives you the possibility, another status than that of indictment: that of assisted witness.

I leave it to the intimate conviction of yours about the sincerity of my remarks and the strength of the arguments that I have tried to present to you.”