French President to Sue Website for Defamation

Posted April 30th, 2012 at 11:50 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

French President Nicolas Sarkozy says he will bring charges against a news website for claiming that late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi had offered to give him $50 million to help finance his first presidential bid.

French website Mediapart reported Saturday that it had obtained a 2006 Libyan document signed by Libya's then-intelligence chief, Moussa Koussa, with the offer.

Mr. Sarkozy told France Television Two Monday that the claim was grotesque and said he would file a lawsuit before the end of the current presidential campaign.

Mr. Sarkozy spearheaded Western military intervention that helped drive the Libyan leader from power in a 2011 popular uprising.

France will hold a runoff election Sunday, with Mr. Sarkozy trailing socialist candidate Francois Hollande in opinion polls. Mr. Hollande emerged as the frontrunner in the April 22 first-round vote, edging the incumbent with 28 percent of the vote to Mr. Sarkozy's 27 percent.