French ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy in custody over Gaddafi money scandal

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is in custody over a scandal where he is accused of receiving $60 million in election funds from the Libyan dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi.

Sarkozy, who led his country from 2007 to 2012, was under the control of police in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on Tuesday morning, according to Mediapart, which first exposed claims about the conservative Republican’s financial backing in 2012.

Revelations about the scandal have continued to come out in recent years, with Franco-Lebanese businessman Ziad Takkiedine saying last year that he helped carry suitcases full of cash to the then-candidate in 2006 and 2007.

Sarkozy has denied the allegations, which Mediapart reported as involving 50 million euros ($61.5 million).

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Spain's King Juan Carlos (R) and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy invite eachother to walk forward during a visit at the Zarzuela palace in Madrid on May 27, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ GERARD JULIEN (Photo credit should read GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy (Rear-C) leaves his home on July 2, 2014 in Paris. France's former president Nicolas Sarkozy has been charged with corruption and influence peddling, French prosecutors said on July 2, a dramatic move in a criminal probe that could wreck his hopes of a political comeback. The decision came after Sarkozy was questioned for 15 hours, marking the first time a French ex-head of state had been taken into custody in a criminal investigation. AFP PHOTO / JACQUES DEMARTHON (Photo credit should read JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images)
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy leaves the financial crimes section, on July 2, 2014 in Paris. Nicolas Sarkozy was on Tuesday detained for questioning in a widening corruption probe, a judicial source told, in an unprecedented move against a former French president. Sarkozy had turned himself in for questioning a day after investigators detained his lawyer Thierry Herzog and two magistrates. The investigators are seeking to establish if the former president, with the help of Herzog, attempted to pervert the course of justice. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
A vehicle with former French President Nicolas Sarkozy aboard arrives at the anti-corruption office of the French police (Oclciff) on July 1, 2014 in Nanterre, near Paris. Nicolas Sarkozy was on Tuesday detained for questioning in a widening corruption probe, a judicial source told, in an unprecedented move against a former French president. Sarkozy had turned himself in for questioning a day after investigators detained his lawyer Thierry Herzog and two magistrates. The investigators are seeking to establish if the former president, with the help of Herzog, attempted to pervert the course of justice. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
French policemen guard the entrance of the anti-corruption office of the French police (Oclciff) on July 1, 2014 in Nanterre, near Paris. Nicolas Sarkozy was on Tuesday detained for questioning at the Oclciff in Nanterre, in a widening corruption probe, a judicial source told, in an unprecedented move against a former French president. Sarkozy had turned himself in for questioning a day after investigators detained his lawyer Thierry Herzog and two magistrates. The investigators are seeking to establish if the former president, with the help of Herzog, attempted to pervert the course of justice. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
French lawyer Paul-Albert Iweins (R), representing Thierry Herzog speaks to Jose Allegrini, lawyer of French top magistrate Gilbert Azibert outside the French Interior Ministry's anti-corruption bureau in Nanterre, west of Paris, on June 30, 2014. Thierry Herzog, lawyer of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, and two magistrates were detained for questioning on June 30 in one of a raft of corruption probes embroiling the former president of France. Investigators are seeking to establish whether Sarkozy, with the help of his lawyer Thierry Herzog, attempted to pervert the course of justice by obtaining inside information from one of the magistrates about the progress of another probe and that he was tipped off that his mobile phone had been tapped by judges looking into the alleged financing of his 2007 election campaign by former Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS SAMSON (Photo credit should read THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 18: Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni are seen on June 18, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Europa Press/Europa Press via Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 19: Carla Bruni and Nicolas Sarkozy (C) leave a hotel on June 19, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Europa Press/Europa Press via Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 27: Nicolas Sarkozy looks on before the meeting with King Juan Carlos of Spain at the Zarzuela Palace on May 27, 2014 in Madrid, Spain (Photo by Carlos R. Alvarez/WireImage)
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Gaddafi, who had ruled Libya for decades, died a gruesome death in 2011 after a Western intervention against his country during the Arab Spring, in which France participated.

Sarkozy’s time in custody can last for 48 hours before he must be charged, and it is not clear what counts he could face.

Multiple French media outlets reported that former French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux is also being questioned.

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