The Lebanese authorities have detained a Lebanese-French businessman who was close to former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and is wanted in France for allegations related to corruption.
Ziad Takieddine was detained based on an arrest warrant Interpol sent to the public prosecution over him being wanted by the French authorities for his alleged involvement in corruption and financing Sarkozy’s campaign, a judicial source told AFP on Friday.
Takieddine, who is considered the main accuser in the case of the suspected funding of Sarkozy’s presidential campaign by Libya in 2007, is currently being questioned by the Internal Security Forces’ Information Branch.
He will then be transferred to the general prosecution for further investigation on Monday, the source said.
After his file arrives from France, if the investigation leads to the conclusion that the charges against Takieddine are justified, he could either face trial in Lebanon as a Lebanese citizen or extradition to France.
In 2016, the 70-year-old businessman was investigated after stating that he had delivered millions of euros in cash from the deposed leader of Libya, Muammar Al-Kaddafi. He abruptly retracted the claim later on.
Notably, Takieddine fled France to Beirut in June after he was condemned to 5 years of jail in a separate case involving arms sales to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in 1994.
He went on to spend two weeks, from October 26th until November 10th, in jail in Lebanon as part of a disagreement with his former lawyer, before being released.
His new detainment comes while France’s Sarkozy is on trial for corruption in a separate case.