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Scandal widens in France, politicians extorted money from African dictators for years.

Sarkozy, the president of France, allegedly received millions worth of cash from brutal African dictators. Many of the dictators that recent French leaders are accused of extorting bribe money from make Qaddafi look like a great leader.

Sarkozy was the leading advocate of war in Libya. When the French/USA/British war against Libya began, Qaddafi made a television broadcast claiming he had given large amounts of money to Sarkozy’s election campaign.

UK Telegraph…

However that claim was countered by Jean-François Probst, a former Chirac aide, like Mr Bourgi with various nebulous links to African leaders.

“Nothing stopped with Sarkozy,” Mr Probst claimed yesterday. To say otherwise was “not credible”.

“Bourgi has laboured tirelessly for Sarkozy (to drum up funds) from African leaders since the 2007 presidential elections,” he claimed.

Mr Bourgi “rushed to Libreville (the capital of Gabon) in July 2007 and did a deal with (president) Omar Bongo who, I am told, gave him a billion CFA francs (£1.3 million)”.

Claims Mr Sarkozy received cash from Mr Bourgi are also made in a book by investigative journalist Pierre Péan called The Briefcase Republic, out next week. Chirac adviser, Michel de Bonnecorse, is cited as alleging he saw Mr Bourgi place a suitcase of cash at Mr Sarkozy’s feet when he was interior minister. The Elysée declined to comment.

Mr Sarkozy’s aides were at pains to insist Mr Bourgi plays no advisory role. However, several US diplomatic cables uncovered by WikiLeaks claim the pair are “friends”.

A US embassy in Paris cable dated November 19, 2009, describes Mr Bourgi as a “presidential adviser”. It cites French foreign ministry Africa chief Stéphane Gompertz as regretting that Mr Bourgi is “Sarkozy’s friend, but that’s a fact of life”.

Mr Gompertz also admits that “Bourgi operates in the shadows and has influence on France’s approach to Africa”.