Sarkozy's private politics: From Gadhafi to Gbagbo

By Rebecca Tickle

Former french president Nicolas Sarkozy may face trial after losing his appeal against wiretap evidence. The French Supreme Court says to consider such corroboration as a legitimate part of the probe into charges for attempting to corrupt high-ranking judges in his need for inside information.

Since he lost the elections against Hollande in 2012, Sarkozy has gone through several legal scandales, ranging from false accounting to cocaïne smuggling. He is the first former president in France to have been arrested.

Paris in December 2007
Allegations about Sarkozy's 2007 successful electoral campaign having received an illegal donation of over 50 million euros from Gadhafi has been under judicial investigation since 2012.

Increasing arguements in favour of Sarkozy's personal role in the war on Gadhafi aimed at his formal elimination, are progressively emerging upstream in the judicial process.

The extrajudicial killing of Gadhafi was not limited to him only. According to Human Rights Watch, a group of 66 combattants accompanying the Guide were also executed after arrest, according to witnesses.

The Human Rights Watch report, "Death of a Dictator: Bloody Vengeance in Sirte", issued a year after Gadhafi's death, includes a compilation of testimonies on widespread illegal killings, where combattants were seen captured alive, seriously mistreated, and later found dead.

International law prohibits the execution of captured combattants and identifies such as war crimes. It is the responsibility of the libyan civil and military authorities to exercise their criminal jurisdiction over those responsible for such crimes.

Although different libyan authorities have been requested several times to fulfill their duty regarding "core" crimes in Libya, Human Rights Watch has recorded no signs of effective investigation.

HRW recommends that the International Criminal Court, which has been authorised by the UN Security Council to investigate war crimes in the country, should proceed in the prosecution of war criminals.

The International Court in The Hague, seen by some as instrumentalised in favour of western political interests, has been very busy since 2011 with the controversial trial of Laurent Gbagbo and his lieutenant Charles Blé Goudé for alleged crimes against humanity in Ivory Coast. After a very questionable presidential election result, Gbagbo was arrested by the French army in April 2011 (during Sarkozy's presidency), after several weeks of resistance in his home in Abidjan. His rival Alassane Ouattara, an intimate friend of Sarkozy, took over after Gbagbo's departure, with the continuing support of the French army.

Selection and suppression of leaders in Africa has been the main strategy of "post-colonial" France since before 1960 to ensure full control over its colonial assets. Nevertheless Sarkozy's role in the brutal and publically obvious clearing out of privately "unwanted" leaders has been particularly questioned by international public opinion. The suspicion of personal retaliation in the case of Gadhafi is supported by allegations of huge illegal donations combined with the deterioration of their "frienship" and business relationship.

Overdimensioned search for personal power as well as aggressive communication methods have been caracterising Sarkozy very specifically in French politics, even though the funding of electoral campaigns is a sore point by nature.

If his ambitions get out of legal control, evidence for further international political abuse and manipulation, as in the case of Gbagbo's trial according to several experts, existing evidence could turn against Sarkozy into additional investigation and prosecution.