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>> Former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, is being held over alleged campaign finance connections with the late Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi. Sarkozy under detention behind these doors in Paris. The contributions, it's said, helped propel him to victory in the 2007 election. Luke Baker is Reuters Paris bureau chief.>> And at this stage, it's purely questioning.
It's only later whether there may be any further judicial steps. In 2013, evidence emerged from a French investigative website, Mediapart, carrying claims by a Franco-Lebanese businessman that he had helped funnel money from Gaddafi to Sarkozy's election campaign. Sarkozy has always dismissed the accusations, calling them grotesque and a manipulation.
>> The businessman, Ziad Takieddine, claims he was the middleman for three suitcases full of cash donated to Sarkozy and a senior aid, some $6 million. The relationship between the two leaders was complicated. Sarkozy had been criticized at home for being too accommodating to Gaddafi. But he was also one of the loudest voices calling for the Libyan dictator's overthrow by rebels backed by NATO.
>> While Nicolas Sarkozy is not a formal suspect in this case, it does represent the second judicial inquiry to touch him since he left office. He's already facing trial over accusations of overruns in his spending for 2012 re-election campaign, which he lost.>> The businessman at the center of the allegations, Takieddine, is also under a separate investigation into suspected arms dealing to Pakistan in the 1990s.