Former French Interior Minister Claude Gueant has been taken into custody as part of an investigation into whether Libya helped to finance former President Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 election campaign.

Al Jazeera's Jacqui Rowland, reporting from Paris, said Gueant, who is being questioned by police, is a former chief of staff to Sarkozy and a close ally of the former president.

Our correspondent said the questioning on Friday was related to a deposit of more than $540,000 that entered Gueant's bank account in March 2008.

"The allegations that ... [police] are looking into is the possibility that this money was in fact coming from the former Libyan leader, Colonel [Muammar] Gaddafi, as part of financial contributions to the election campaign in 2007 of the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy," she said.

Sarkozy is currently the leader of the opposition UMP right-wing party.

Source: Al Jazeera