Paris (AFP)

Franco-Algerian businessman Alexandre Djouhri, at the heart of the investigation into suspicions of Libyan funding for Nicolas Sarkozy's presidential campaign in 2007, was indicted on Friday, notably for "active corruption", a- we learned from a judicial source.

Claimed for years by French justice, he was handed over Thursday evening to the authorities at Roissy airport from London, where he was arrested in January 2018 under European arrest warrants.

A liberty and detention judge must now rule on his possible detention on remand, required by the national financial prosecutor's office, added the judicial source.

Mr. Djouhri, 60, is also under investigation for "forgery and use of forgery", "active bribery of a foreign public official", "complicity" and "concealment of embezzlement of public funds by a person charged with a mission of public service ", as well as for" laundering of active and passive bribery of foreign public officials in organized gangs "and" laundering of tax fraud in organized gangs ".

After a long judicial battle, a British court confirmed on January 22 the decision, rendered in February 2019 by the Westminster court, to hand it over to France.

Alexandre Djouhri, close to former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin then to the ex-minister of Nicolas Sarkozy Claude Guéant, was eagerly awaited by the French magistrates, the investigations having revealed several suspicious financial flows implicating him in the Libyan affair.

His name 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, a former dignitary of the Ghadafi 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 hidden payments from the regime.

"It is imagination and machination, I have never had a villa as a nominee and I have never sold a villa to Bachir Saleh", he defended himself last March on LCI.

Triggered by the publication by Mediapart in 2012 of a document supposed to prove the Libyan financing of the 2007 campaign, the investigation notably led to the indictment for "passive corruption" of Nicolas Sarkozy and Claude Guéant, who both contest the validity of the investigations.

© 2020 AFP