01:40 GMT +325 June 2019
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    Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi, left, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, pose during a signing ceremony at the Elysee Palace, Paris. (File)

    UK to Extradite Businessman for Transferring Gaddafi Funds to Sarkozy Campaign

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    Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy denied the reports about the ties between his 2007 presidential campaign and late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

    A judge in London has ordered the extradition of a French businessman suspected of channelling money from then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to finance Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign.

    Alexandre Djouhri is wanted by French investigators probing the alleged corruption of a foreign public official, conspiracy to misappropriate public funds and money laundering.

    Former President Sarkozy has always denied he received money from Gaddafi to fund his successful election bid in 2007.

    "I am satisfied that there is no or insufficient evidence that the French authorities have manipulated or used procedures to oppress or unfairly prejudice Mr Djouhri," District Judge Vanessa Baraitser wrote in her judgement at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court.

    "I therefore order the extradition to France of Alexandre Djouhri," she added.

    French-Algerian businessman Alexandre Djouhri arriving at court in London in January 2019
    © AFP 2019 /
    French-Algerian businessman Alexandre Djouhri arriving at court in London in January 2019

    Djouhri was arrested at London's Heathrow Airport in January 2018.

    After the hearing on Tuesday, 26 February, he said he would appeal against the extradition ruling.

    Claim of 'Judicial Trap'

    Before the hearing Djouhri had said he was the victim of "a judicial trap".

    French investigators are examining his alleged involvement in the 2009 sale of a villa in the French Alps for 10 million euros ($11.3 million).

    A Libyan investment fund managed by Bashir Saleh, the former chief of staff of Libya's deposed leader Moamer Kadhafi, bought the property at a "very inflated" price, and Djouhri is suspected of being its true owner.

    Djouhri was released on conditional bail on health grounds in February after undergoing heart surgery.


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    Muammar Gaddafi, Nicolas Sarkozy, France, Libya
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