TUNIS - Muammar Gaddafi's former prime minister, in jail in neighboring Tunisia, says the ousted Libyan leader funded French President Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 election campaign to the tune of 50 million euros ($66 million), according to his lawyer.
Sarkozy, fighting an uphill battle for re-election at polls on Sunday, dismissed the accusation in comments to Canal + television. "Who believes this rubbish?," he asked. "It's outrageous, grotesque."
Sarkozy had previously dismissed as false a 2006 letter purportedly from Libya's former secret services and discussing an "agreement in principle" to pay 50 million euros to Sarkozy's campaign.
Sarkozy has said he will sue the news website Mediapart for publishing the document it says proves Gaddafi's government sought to finance Sarkozy's run at the presidency when he was interior minister.
But the lawyer for former Libyan Prime Minister Al Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi, who is being held in Tunisia pending a decision on his extradition to Libya, said on Thursday the letter was authentic and that the funding went ahead.