Sarkozy denies Gaddafi donations claim

Gaddafi's son claims Tripoli helped fund French president's 2007 election campaign and says Libya wants the money back.

    Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has warned that the rebel movement in Libya will be 'finished' within 48 hours

    Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of Libya's leader, has claimed Tripoli helped fund the 2007 presidential election of Nicolas Sarkozy and asked the French leader to "give us back our money".

    In an interview with broadcaster Euronews on Wednesday he said "we have all the details and are ready to reveal anything".

    Sarkozy's office has denied the claim, which comes as Gaddafi's forces close in on rebels in the eastern city of Benghazi.

    France angered the Libyan leader last week by recognising the National Council, set up by rebels in Benghazi, as the legitimate representatives of the Libyan people, and urged other European nations to follow suit.

    Gaddafi's government responded at the time by cutting off diplomatic ties with Paris and saying that a "grave secret" that would prompt the fall of Sarkozy's government would be released.

    Saif al-Islam said in Wednesday's interview: "The first thing we want this clown to do is to give the money back  to the Libyan people.

    "He was given assistance so that he could help them. But he's disappointed us: give us back our money.

    "We have all the bank details and documents for the transfer operations and we will make everything public soon."

    On Tuesday Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's leader, said that his "good friend" Sarkozy had "gone mad."

    "He is my friend but I think he has gone mad. He is suffering from a psychological illness," he told German television.

    "That is what people say who are close to him. His aides say that he is suffering from a psychological illness."


    France urges no-fly zone

    Meanwhile France is leading a push to set up a no-fly zone over Libya at the United Nations Security Council, for which a draft resolution has been created.

    "I have several reasons to think we will achieve our objective," Alain Juppe, the French foreign minister, told parliament.

    "We will only act with a UN Security Council mandate and with not only the support, but the active participation of Arab countries."

    European countries are looking at possible measures in the wake of a warning by Saif al-Islam that pro-Gaddafi forces will have quashed the rebel movement within 48 hours.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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