Moammar Gadhafi helped bankroll Nicolas Sarkozy's rise to power, according to a French investigative website. Mediapart says it has seen documents suggesting the Libyan leader made a $66 million donation ahead of Sarkozy's election in 2007, the Telegraph reports. Gadhafi's son Saif-al Islam made similar claims a year ago, threatening to expose the French president. “The first thing we want this clown to do is to give the money back to the Libyan people," he said. "He has disappointed us."
Sarkozy was one of the strongest supporters of action against Gadhafi's regime, although he raised eyebrows soon after his election by welcoming the Libyan leader to Paris and describing him as a "brother leader." Sarkozy, who is seeking re-election next month, described the allegations as "grotesque," CNN notes. "When one quotes Mr. Gadhafi, who is dead, or his son, who is standing trial, the credibility is zero," he said in a televised interview last night, adding that if Gadhafi had financed him, "then I haven’t been very grateful."