Ex-French President Sarkozy: Libya accusations are making my life ‘hell’

In this file photo taken on July 30, 2010, Nicolas Sarkozy gives a speech in Grenoble. (AFP)
Updated 22 March 2018
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Ex-French President Sarkozy: Libya accusations are making my life ‘hell’

PARIS: French ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy told magistrates who put him under formal investigation on Wednesday that accusations that he got illicit Libyan funding for his 2007 election campaign were lies that were making his life "hell", Le Figaro newspaper said.
The newspaper published a lengthy account of what it said was a declaration by Sarkozy, in power from 2007 until 2012, made to investigators who told him after two days in custody he was formally suspected of passive corruption and other offences.
"This calumny has made my life a living hell since March 11, 2011," the newspaper quoted the 63-year-old as having told the investigators. Prosecutors are looking into allegations that Sarkozy's 2007 election campaign was aided by millions of euros in money from late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
According to Le Figaro, Sarkozy said he was the victim of a destabilisation campaign that began in March 2011, based on accusations from Tripoli and a Franco-Lebanese businessman who is also at the centre of a judicial inquiry that began in 2013 but snowballed this week when Sarkozy was held for questioning.


Philippine president wants to end anti-drug war in three years

Updated 19 min 26 sec ago
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Philippine president wants to end anti-drug war in three years

  • Philippines being investigated for extrajudicial killings
  • Anti-drug campaign signature policy of president

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday he wanted to finish his war on drugs in three years, defying an international probe into his controversial and deadly campaign to rid the country of narcotics.
Duterte, who came to power in 2016, has made a ‘war on drugs’ the hallmark of his administration. 
But it has been reported that 20,000 people have been killed in what rights groups call a wave of “state-sanctioned violence.”
The firebrand president remains unfazed by the condemnation, and the cases filed against him by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over his crackdown.
He insisted he would assume full responsibility for any consequences due to his decision to enforce the law, telling a military audience his goals.
“I’d like to finish this war, both (with the) Abu Sayyaf (a militant group) and also the communists, and the drug problem in about three years … we'd be able (to) ... reduce the activities of the illegal trade and fighting to the barest minimum.
“I’m not saying I am the only one capable (of achieving these goals) ... I assume full responsibility for all that would happen as a consequence of enforcing the law — whether against the criminals, the drug traffickers or the rebels who’d want to destroy government.”
Earlier this month, the Philippines withdrew from the ICC, citing the global body's interference in how the country was run as the reason.
On Tuesday, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that investigations into alleged extrajudicial killings in the Philippines would continue despite its exit.
But the government has said it will not cooperate with the ICC, and has even warned its personnel about entering the country for the investigation.
There are Filipinos who support Duterte’s campaign, however, and believe it works. Among them is former policeman Eric Advincula.
He said there had been an improvement in the situation since Duterte came to power. 
“For one, the peace and order situation has improved, like for example in villages near our place where there used to be rampant drug peddling,” he told Arab News. 
“The price of illegal drugs is now higher, an indication that the supply also went down. Also, it was easy to catch drug peddlers before because they were doing their trade openly. But now they are more careful, you can't easily locate them.”
Official data from the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in February indicated that 5,176 ‘drug personalities’ were killed in the anti-drugs war between July 1, 2016 to Jan. 31, 2019.
More than 170,000 drug suspects have been arrested during a total of 119,841 anti-narcotics operations in the last two and a half years.