A British court on Wednesday ordered the surrender to French justice of Alexandre Djouhri, key protagonist of the investigation into the alleged Libyan financing of the presidential campaign of Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007, AFP learned Thursday from the PNF, confirming an Marianne information.
The 60-year-old businessman was arrested in January 2018 in London, under European arrest warrants issued by French justice, notably for "embezzlement of public funds" and "corruption". A London court ordered his extradition in February 2019, but he appealed the decision.
According to European texts, the British justice has ten days to execute this decision which is not subject to appeal, specified a judicial source. This period may however be extended by ten days for exceptional reasons.
Alexandre Djouhri is eagerly awaited by French investigating judges, the investigations having uncovered several suspicious financial flows implicating him in this case.
The name of this relative of Claude Guéant, ex-minister of Nicolas Sarkozy, appeared in particular in the investigation for the sale in 2009 of a villa located in Mougins, on the Côte d'Azur, to a Libyan fund managed by Bachir Saleh, former dignitary of the Gaddafi regime.
He is suspected of having been the real owner and of having sold it at an overvalued price, making it possible to hide possible hidden payments, which he denies.
French anti-corruption magistrates had issued European arrest warrants in December 2017 and then in February 2018 against him, under which he was arrested at London Heathrow airport, coming from Geneva, where he resides.
Hospitalized on several occasions for heart problems, he had been placed under house arrest in the British capital, on bail.
Alexandre Djouhri disputes the validity of these arrest warrants, considering not to be on the run but not to have been summoned by French justice in the forms.
His appeals must be examined on March 19 by the Paris Court of Appeal, at the same time as applications for a declaration of invalidity filed by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, his former ministers Claude Guéant, Eric Woerth and Brice Hortefeux in this case.
© 2020 AFP