Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is being formally investigated for alleged "witness tampering" and "fraud" as part of an operation related to the financing (by Libya) of his 2007 election campaign.
In this context, Sarkozy has been charged with two counts related to the financing of the elections he won.
According to judicial sources, Sarkozy is accused of "witness tampering" and "committing a crime with intent to defraud".
It was revealed that the former leader had asked Ziaeddin Takieddine, a French businessman of Lebanese origin, to retract earlier statements that he had "handed over Libyan funds to Sarkozy in France" in order to clear himself of the accusation that he was financed by Libya.
This situation, described by legal circles as "Saving Sarkozy", led to the opening of a new investigation in 2021.
This was because Ziad Taqieddine had retracted his previous statements that he had handed over Libyan funds.
The former leader claims he did not take any fraudulent steps and denies the accusations against him.
Sarkozy has been interrogated by Paris financial prosecutors for 30 hours since Tuesday.
Arriving at the court in Paris at around 9:40 this morning, Nicolas Sarkozy was informed that he was charged with "two counts of witness tampering" and "conspiracy to commit fraud in an organized gang".
In addition to Sarkozy, the investigation involves nine other defendants (one of whom is deceased).
These people are said to have made businessman Ziaeddin Takieddine retract his statement.
In an interview with a French TV channel in 2020, Takieddine said that the former president "never received a penny, in cash or otherwise", which was the starting point of the investigation.
Another accusation against Sarkozy is that during the 2012 elections, the former Libyan leader's family offered bribes to Lebanese prosecutors in exchange for the release of Moammar Gadhafi's son, Hanibal Gadhafi, who was imprisoned in Lebanon.
This step appeared to have been taken to facilitate Sarkozy's acquittal.
French investigators estimate that at least 608,000 euros were taken in this operation.