Alexandre Djouhri in London, in 2018. - Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP / SIPA
Alexandre Djouhri, whose British justice ordered the extradition in the investigation into the suspicions of Libyan financing of the campaign of Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007, intends to return to France and contest the procedure, was learned on Saturday from his British lawyer. "He plans to return to France and vehemently contest the procedure," his lawyer Kathleen Harris told Agence France-Presse (AFP). British justice confirmed on Wednesday the decision, made in February 2019 by the Westminster court, to hand over Alexandre Djouhri to French anti-corruption magistrates.
Suspicious financial flows
The 60-year-old Franco-Algerian businessman was arrested in January 2018 at London airport under a European arrest warrant issued by French justice, notably for "embezzlement of public funds" and " corruption ". Investigations have uncovered several suspicious financial flows implicating him in this case.
The name of this close friend of former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin then of Claude Guéant, ex-minister of Nicolas Sarkozy, appeared in particular in the investigation into 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, behind several nominees, the true owner and of having sold it at an overvalued price, making it possible to hide possible occult payments, which he vigorously disputes.
Appeals examined on March 19
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 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 that he was not on the run but had not 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 the nullity applications filed by the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his former ministers Claude Guéant and Eric Woerth, who are under investigation in this case. .
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- Nicolas Sarkozy