PARIS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday he would sue news website Mediapart for publishing a document which it says proves that the government of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi sought to fund his 2007 election campaign.
As Sarkozy fights an uphill battle for re-election, his team is hitting back a gainst the claims in a 2006 letter allegedly from Libya's former secret services that discussed an "agreement in principle" to pay 50 million euros for Sarkozy's campaign.
The allegation, which has gripped French media six days from the final round of France's presidential election, drew a chorus of rebuttals from Sarkozy's camp. But it ma y not be a game-changer at such a late stage in the contest, in a country where voters are accustomed to regular sleaze inquiries.
"We will file a complaint against Mediapart," Sarkozy told France 2 television. "Do you really think that with what I did to him, Mr. Gaddafi would have made me a bank transfer? Why not a signed check - it's grotesque."