France charges Sarkozy aide in Libya funding probe

France charges Sarkozy aide in Libya funding probe
Thierry Gaubert worked for Sarkozy when the future president was budget minister in the mid-1990s. (AFP)
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Updated 04 February 2020

France charges Sarkozy aide in Libya funding probe

France charges Sarkozy aide in Libya funding probe
  • Thierry Gaubert, 68, was charged with taking hundreds of thousands of euros from the government of Moamer Khadafi
  • Sarkozy helped to remove Qaddafi from power when France and Britain led a NATO-backed military offensive in 2011

PARIS A former aide to Nicolas Sarkozy has been charged as part of an inquiry into allegations that Libyan funds helped finance the French ex-president’s 2007 election campaign, a judicial source said on Monday.
Thierry Gaubert, 68, was charged on Friday with taking hundreds of thousands of euros from the government of Moamer Khadafi that may have been funnelled to Sarkozy’s campaign, the source said.
Allegations that the campaign received up to €50 million ($53.3 million at current rates) from Libya first emerged during Sarkozy’s failed 2012 re-election bid.
Sarkozy helped to remove Qaddafi from power when France and Britain led a NATO-backed military offensive in 2011.
Gaubert worked for Sarkozy when the future president was budget minister in the mid-1990s.
He is suspected of accepting a transfer of €440,000 in February 2006 from Rossfield, a company of Franco-Lebanese businessman Ziad Takieddine — another figure who has been charged in the affair.
The investigative news site Mediapart reported in December that Rossfield took €6 million from Libya in 2006.
Gaubert, as well as his ex-wife, are also on trial for tax fraud and money laundering over Rossfield funds allegedly routed through the Bahamas in 2006.
Gaubert has said the money had no links to Libya.
Sarkozy was charged in 2018 with taking bribes, concealing the embezzlement of Libyan public funds and illegal campaign financing.
He denies the allegations, claiming that an explosive Libyan document presented by Mediapart as proof of the corruption is a fake.


150 migrants storm border with Spain’s Melilla enclave

150 migrants storm border with Spain’s Melilla enclave
Updated 19 January 2021

150 migrants storm border with Spain’s Melilla enclave

150 migrants storm border with Spain’s Melilla enclave
  • 90 migrants managing to cross from Morocco into Melilla at a point where the border fence crosses the Nano river
  • Melilla and Ceuta, another Spanish territory in North Africa, have the European Union’s only land borders with Africa

MADRID: Around 150 migrants stormed the border fence separating the Spanish enclave Melilla from Morocco early on Tuesday with nearly 90 managing to cross, officials said.
The incident took place just before dawn where the fence crosses the Nano river, a spokesman for the Spanish government’s local delegation said, indicating “87 of them” got across despite efforts to stop them by the Moroccan and Spanish security forces.
It was the biggest mass attempt to cross the border fence since August 20 when some 300 people stormed the fence, although only around 30 managed to get across and one died during the attempt.
During Tuesday’s incident, nine migrants were hurt while trying to get into the tiny Spanish territory, while the rest were being registered at the migrant reception center, he said.
Interior ministry figures show that in the first two weeks of the year, 60 migrants managed to illegally cross the fence into Melilla while another 70 managed to cross into Ceuta, Spain’s other North African enclave.
Melilla and Ceuta, another Spanish territory in North Africa, have the European Union’s only land borders with Africa.
They are favored entry points for African migrants seeking a better life in Europe, who get there by either climbing over the border fence or by swimming along the coast.
The border crossings between Morocco and both enclaves have been closed since the start of the pandemic last March.