Tuesday, 24 Apr 2018
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Suspicions of Libyan financing: a relative of Sarkozy released under caution

The French businessman Alexandre Djouhri, arrested in London in connection with an investigation into suspicions of Libyan financing of the campaign of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007, was released on Friday against bail.
He is now waiting for an extradition hearing, according to sources familiar with the case.
Arrested last Sunday, Alexandre Djouhri, a key figure in the investigation in Paris, was released on bail in London’s Westminster court.
After five nights of detention, he was released late Friday afternoon after paying the sum of one million pounds (1.13 million euros), which was claimed against his effective release, according to this source.
He will remain in London pending a hearing on April 17 devoted to the request for extradition filed by the French authorities, the same source added.
The businessman, familiar with networks of the French right and politico-legal affairs, was arrested Sunday at Heathrow airport under a European arrest warrant for “money laundering”, “embezzlement of public funds” and “corruption” issued by the French courts.
Following a hearing on Monday at the London Westminster Court, he was remanded in custody.
Swiss resident, Alexandre Djouhri, 58, is a key figure in the investigation opened in Paris since 2013 to verify the charges launched two years earlier by former Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi and his son Seif el-Islam, according to which Nicolas Sarkozy had benefited from their funds to finance his campaign of 2007. The former president has always rejected these accusations.
Until then, the businessman escaped the demands of justice and did not respond to the summons of French investigators in September 2016.
At that time, the investigating judges had a series of testimonies and disturbing elements supporting the hypothesis of Libyan financing.
Among them, the suspicious sale in 2009 of a villa located in Mougins (Alpes-Maritimes), for about 10 million euros, to a Libyan fund managed by Bachir Saleh, the former grand financier of the Gaddafi regime, ousted the Power and killed in 2011. The investigation had been heard to possible misappropriation of funds committed in favor of this sale, in connection with the case.
The judges suspect Alexander Djouhri to be the true owner and seller of this property and to have agreed with Bachir Saleh to set a purchase price “very overvalued”, according to the elements of the survey reported to AFP.
According to the website Mediapart, “several documents seized” at the Geneva home of Alexander Djouhri “confirm his role in the payment of a commission to the former Minister of the Interior,” Claude Gueant, indicted in the case for ” laundering tax fraud “.
Magistrates are wondering about the transfer of 500,000 euros received by Claude Gueant, then ex-secretary general of the Elysee, in March 2008, from a company of a Malaysian lawyer. He always explained that it was the result of the sale of two paintings.

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