Sarkozy to face full-scale investigation

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They were presented after Sarkozy was questioned for two days by anti-corruption police at a station in Nanterre, northwest of the French capital.

Sarkozy was detained in 2014 in a separate investigation into alleged campaign funding abuses - the first time this has happened to a French ex-president.

The allegations were first made in March 2011, when the son of the Libyan dictator, Saif Al Islam, demanded the return of Libyan money that he claimed was used to bankroll Mr Sarkozy's campaign.

The sum would be more than double the legal campaign funding limit at the time - €21m.

As French investigators have finished questioning Sarkozy, judges are now considering whether to open a formal investigation into allegations.

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The Wednesday night decision came at the end of a two-day period of questioning over an affair that Sarkozy has long dismissed as "grotesque".

A lawyer for the former president did not respond to a message from the AP seeking comment.

Authorities also reportedly questioned Sarkozy's former minister and close ally Brice Hortefeux on Tuesday.

The former president, already charged in a case of irregular funding of his 2012 campaign and in anor for corruption and influence peddling, has so far denied accusation of having received money from Qaddafi's regime to fund his campaign.

The report was based on the claim made by a Lebanese businessman, Ziad Takieddine that he transferred the amount from Gaddafi's former intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi to Sarkozy's campaign manager Claude Gueant. Soon after winning the French presidency, Sarkozy invited the Libyan leader for a state visit and welcomed him to France with high honors.

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Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, left, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, pose during a signing ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris in December 2007.

"In the 24 hours of my detention I have tried with all my might to show that the serious corroborating evidence required to charge someone did not exist", Sarkozy said. The first round of the party's primaries, in which Sarkozy is trailing Alain Juppé, the mayor of Bordeaux, will be held on Sunday.

Takieddine stated in 2016 that he personally handed over three suitcases filled with cash from Gaddafi to Sarkozy and a senior aide to help finance Sarkozy's campaign.

According to the text, the former president told investigators that the allegations even cost him a re-election bid in 2012 when they remerged during the campaign.

He has argued that the fact he pushed for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to intervene militarily against Gaddafi's regime in 2011 - an intervention that culminated with Gaddafi's ouster and killing - shows he was not in the Libyan strongman's pocket.

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