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UK to extradite businessman for transferring Gaddafi funds to Sarkozy campaign

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

LONDON – A judge in London has ordered the extradition of a French businessman suspected of channelling money from late Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, to finance 2007 presidential campaign of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Alexandre Djouhri is wanted by French investigators probing the alleged corruption of a foreign public official, conspiracy to misappropriate public funds and money laundering.

“I am satisfied that there is no or insufficient evidence that the French authorities have manipulated or used procedures to oppress or unfairly prejudice Mr Djouhri,” District Judge Vanessa Baraitser wrote in her judgement at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

“I therefore order the extradition to France of Alexandre Djouhri,” she added.

Djouhri was arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport in January 2018.

French investigators are examining his alleged involvement in the 2009 sale of a villa in the French Alps for 10 million euros ($11.3 million).

A Libyan investment fund managed by Bashir Saleh, the former chief of staff of Gaddafi, bought the property at a “very inflated” price, and Djouhri is suspected of being its true owner.

Djouhri was released on conditional bail on health grounds in February after undergoing heart surgery.

After the hearing on Tuesday, 26 February, he said he would appeal against the extradition ruling. Before the hearing Djouhri had said he was the victim of “a judicial trap”.

Former President Sarkozy has always denied he received money from Gaddafi to fund his successful election bid in 2007.

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