• France's news in English

'Bongo funded Sarkozy campaign': aide

AFP · 23 Nov 2011, 07:35

Published: 23 Nov 2011 09:16 GMT+01:00
Updated: 23 Nov 2011 07:35 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Gabon's late president Omar Bongo funded Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 presidential campaign, a former senior Gabonese official said, in a book to be published in France this week.

Mike Jocktane, who was a close aide to Bongo from 2005 and chief of staff in his office from 2009, confirmed claims that the former strongman sent briefcases stuffed with millions in cash to French politicians.

And he added that the practice continued after Sarkozy's election.

"Omar Bongo helped finance Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 presidential campaign," Jocktane told writers Xavier Harel and Thomas Hofnung, whose book "The Scandal of the Ill-gotten Gains" will be published in Paris on Thursday.

Contacted by AFP, Sarkozy's office refused to comment.

"When a French politician comes to Gabon, we say 'He's come for his briefcase'. The late president Bongo was very generous with French leaders," Jocktane said, according to the book.

"A good share of this cash ended up in their pockets," he added.

Robert Bourgi, a notorious bag man for France's interests in its former African colonies, said in September that he had brought Sarkozy's predecessor Jacques Chirac millions of dollars in cash from African dictators.

Story continues below…

Jocktane confirmed this, but said Bourgi -- who acted as an unofficial advisor to Sarkozy after quitting the Chirac camp -- had also brought Bongo's cash to the current president, including before his 2007 election win.

Sarkozy is due to seek re-election next year, and has tried to distance France from its murky relations with its former colonies, but the claims by Bourgi -- and now Jocktane -- have revived the issue.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
What's on in France: Top things to do in November
Don't miss the chocolate fashion show in Lyon. Photo: Salon du chocolat

The autumn is in full swing in France, and there's plenty to do.

What Paris 'squalor pit' Gare du Nord will look like in future
All photos: Wilmotte et Assoic├ęs

IN PICTURES: The universally accepted 'squalor pit of Europe' is finally getting a facelift.

Halloween: The ten spookiest spots in Paris
Is there really a ghost on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower? Photo: AFP

Read at your own peril.

Halloween holiday in France: Traffic nightmares and sun!
Photo: AFP

But it's great news for the country's beleaguered tourism industry.

French MPs vote to make Airbnb 'professionals' pay tax
Photo: AFP

Do you make a lot of money through Airbnb in France? You'll have to pay a share to the taxman in future.

France and Britain accused of abandoning Calais minors
Photo: AFP

Scores of young migrants are forced to sleep rough for a second night.

France given wake up call as it bids for Brexit business
The business district 'La Defense' in Paris. Photo: AFP

France clearly has some work to do if it really wants to pinch business from the UK post-Brexit.

Mouth fun? French words you just can't translate literally
Do you know the French word for throat-support? Photo: AFP

Word of warning: Don't translate French literally.

How France plans to help its stressed-out police force
Yellow smoke rises around French police officers in Paris holding a banner reading "Solidarity with our colleagues, police angry". All photos: AFP

Could these measures stop the cops from protesting?

'3,000 migrants dispersed' after 'Jungle' clearance
Photo: AFP

While thousands of migrants have been bussed out around France, new ones are arriving all the time and thousands of others have simply been dispersed aid agencies say.

How speaking French can really mess up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
jobs available