Speaking to RT, a trusted adviser to Muammar Gaddafi shed light on how the late Libyan leader allegedly funneled €20 million to support the election campaign of his “friend” Nicolas Sarkozy, who became French president in 2007.
Moftah Missouri, a former interpreter and trusted aide to Gaddafi, exclusively told RT the Libyan strongman had once confessed to him that he had donated €20 million (US$24 million) to fund Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidential bid. Sarkozy reportedly first told Gaddafi of his ambitions of entering the Elysee Palace while on a visit to Libya in 2005, and the colonel welcomed the news, Missouri said.
“At the end of his visit, he met the leader of the Libyan revolution [Gaddafi]… the meeting lasted about 45 minutes,” the former Gaddafi adviser added. When Sarkozy said he was intending to run for the presidency, the Libyan leader replied by saying that it was good news, noting “it would be good if a friend of Libya and a friend of him [Gaddafi] becomes president of France,” Missouri added.
The late leader promised to render “all kind of support and assistance” to the French politician, and it came shortly after he announced his candidacy, the former aide claimed. His campaign officials met with Libyan counterparts, and the two sides reportedly came up with a document – named after Bashir Saleh, one of Libya’s negotiators – that requested €50 million ($61 million) as a donation to support Sarkozy’s bid.
“This document was sent to then Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa, and he forwarded it to the Libyan leader’s office,”Missouri said. Gaddafi looked through the paper and ordered that the sum be reduced by more than a half, to €20 million, he added.
While Missouri did not witness the money transfer, he said Gaddafi acknowledged it in one of their conversations. “He told me once: ‘I donated 20 million.’”
It is likely that the donation was paid in cash to bypass bank transfer systems, Missouri said, as Gaddafi had his own fund for such situations. “I can’t remember any instance when a transfer from [Gaddafi’s fund] was made through a bank,”Missouri revealed. “I know there is a ‘suitcase option’ for those requesting aid,” he added. Likewise, no Libyan bank had ever made transfers to Sarkozy campaign from inside Libya, said the former adviser.