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Sarkozy’s questioning enter second day over Gaddafi funds case.

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Judges in France placed former French president Nicolas Sarkozy under formal investigation on Wednesday over allegations of illegal campaign financing, a judicial source said.

Sarkozy was released from under judicial supervision after two days of questioning over allegations that his 2007 election campaign received funding from the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, the source said.

He is being investigated for illicit campaign financing, misappropriation of Libyan public funds and passive corruption, the source said confirming a report in Le Monde newspaper.

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It is the second major investigation for Sarkozy, who is also facing charges of illicit campaign spending overruns during his failed re-election bid in 2012.

The current questioning relates to accusations made by a Franco-Lebanese businessman, Ziad Takieddine, who says he helped funnel 5 million euros ($6 million) from Gaddafi’s intelligence chief to Sarkozy’s campaign chief ahead of the 2007 election.

Gaddafi’s son, Saif Al Islam told Africanews on Tuesday that he is willing to testify and offer evidence against Sarkozy relating to the campaign financing of the 2007 campaign.

Neither Sarkozy nor his lead lawyer have commented publicly since the 63-year-old first answered the police summons on Tuesday. Sarkozy has in the past dismissed the allegations as “grotesque” and described them as a “manipulation”.

The inquiry began in 2013, after investigative website Mediapart published Takieddine’s allegations.

In an interview with Lebanon’s L’Orient du Jour newspaper published on Tuesday, Takieddine said he acted as an intermediary between France and Libya during the time that Sarkozy served as interior minister, before his election bid.

Five months after Sarkozy was elected president, Gaddafi visited him in Paris. It was the eccentric Libyan leader’s first state visit to a Western capital in decades, and he pitched a Bedouin-style tent near the Elysee Palace.

Later, Sarkozy became one of the chief advocates of the NATO-led campaign against Gaddafi that resulted in the dictator’s overthrow and killing by rebels in 2011.

In France, investigators can interrogate people for up to 48 hours, after which they must release them or notify them that they are being put under formal investigation, which signals serious suspicion but does not automatically lead to trial.

It was not immediately clear when Sarkozy might know his fate, given that his questioners are free to stop the clock for breaks, sleep or longer timeouts between question-and-answer sessions before their 48-hour limit is up.

Sarkozy, once branded a “bling-bling” president, has been dogged for years by political scandals, but none has led to a conviction.

He is not the first French president to be questioned by police after leaving office.

His predecessor, Jacques Chirac, was convicted in 2011, after his retirement, of misusing public funds to keep allies in phantom jobs. He was the first French head of state to be convicted of a crime since Nazi collaborator Marshall Philippe Petain in 1945.

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Motherland News

PM Abiy reiterates Ethiopia’s decision over latest clampdown.

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has finally spoken on ongoing anti-corruption and rights abuse clampdown stating that there was not going to be any backing down let alone retreat.

A statement from the Abiy’s office issued in Amharic tasked citizens to rally behind the development as a means of ridding the country of lawlessness and criminal elements.

State-affiliated FBC reported that the statement titled, ‘Let’s Fight (the) Cancer,’ said the government was bent on bringing people behind injustices to book.



The statement said the underlying objective of recent arrests was to get rid of Ethiopia criminals. “… criminals do not care about ethnicity, country, or morality; they only care for themselves.

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“The key to justice is to create a system for innocent citizens to live in freedom and dignity while criminals are held accountable and punished in accordance with the law,” the statement read in part.

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Since early this week, authorities have announced the arrest of over sixty former military and intelligence officials arrested in connection with rights abuse in prisons and gross corruption in the military run business conglomerate, Metals and Engineering Corporation, MetEC.

A former head of MetEC, Kinfe Dagnew; and a former intelligence chiefs, Tekleberhan Woldearegay and Yared Zerihun have all been detained and put before courts in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Head of security at the state monopoly, Ethio Telecom, Gudeta Olana, has also been arrested as has head of the entity and brother of ex-MetEC boss, Essayas Dagnew.

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New Zealand denies refusing refugees with holiday visas entry.

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New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, on Friday, rejected allegations that the country’s government was blocking refugees who wished to travel into the country from Nauru on visitor visas.

Nauru’s president, Baron Waqa, also claimed in an interview with Australian media that he had also personally brokered a deal for New Zealand to accept 80 refugees currently located on the island.



“It’s incorrect to say that there is some kind of agreement for 80 specific individuals to take residence or visit,’’ Ardern told media at the East Asia Summit in Singapore.

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“The request did not ask about whether refugees could visit New Zealand on holiday visas,’’ he added.

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The country assessed all applications for visitor visas on a case-by-case basis. This applies regardless of a person’s country of origin or nationality.

The country is under pressure to transfer the remaining 30 children from the island.

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