Ziad Takieddine, owner and manager of the chic Isola 2000 ski resort in the French Alps, claims to have proof that former French president Nicolas Sarkozy received more than €50 million ($66 million) in funding from Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi during Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign.
In the 1990s, Ziad Takieddine became friendly with a number of French politicians, who visited Isola. As an Arabic-speaking, Lebanese-born businessman, Takieddine exchanged one slippery slope for another. He went from ski resort owner to a middleman for arms dealings between France and Middle East countries, including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Syria and Libya.
His ex-wife describes how the couple moved almost overnight from the modest but comfortable world of the Alps to a jet-set world of “luxury holidays, trips in private aircraft, property investment, and chauffeur and servants.”
Takieddine’s accusations of the former French President emerged during an investigation into Takieddine’s money-laundering activities and possible illegal funding of former French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur unsuccessful presidential campaign.