Probe opens of alleged Libyan funding for Sarkozy

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PARIS (AP) — Paris prosecutors have begun investigating whether former President Nicolas Sarkozy's winning presidential campaign in 2007 may have received illegal funding from Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime.

Prosecutors' office spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre said the probe which opened Friday centers on claims of corruption, influence trafficking, forgery, abuse of public funds and money laundering.

No one has been named as a suspect. The probe is based on allegations by Lebanese businessman Ziad Takieddine during questioning by officials in December.

The allegations of Libyan financing emerged in French media last year in the waning days of Sarkozy's losing re-election bid.

Separately last month, a Bordeaux judge filed preliminary charges against Sarkozy over allegations he illegally took donations from France's richest woman in the 2007 election cycle.

Sarkozy has denied any wrongdoing.

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